§ 60. Major PRESCOTT
asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if he will state the numerical strength of ex-soldier clerks now employed in the War Office; whether any and, if so, bow many of these men have reached the age of sixty years; whether ex-soldier clerks who have attained the age of sixty and 771 upwards are about to have their engagements terminated after eighteen years' service without the prospect of a pension; and, if so, if he will state whether any prospects of future employment can be held out to them, or whether their claims to a pension are likely to receive favourable consideration?
§ Mr. FORSTER
I assume that the hon. and gallant Member refers to the ex-soldier clerks on the regular pre-war strength of the War Office, and not to the very large number of ex-soldiers taken into temporary employment during the emergency. On this assumption, the number of men who have attained the normal retiring age of sixty laid down by their original terms of engagement is twenty-six. The period for which it will be necessary in the public interest to extend the employment of these men is considered on its merits on each individual case, and I regret that I am not in a position to hold out any promise of further employment to any of these when their service is terminated. The matter of pension rights for the pre-war staff of ex-soldier clerks is under consideration.