HC Deb 21 November 1939 vol 353 c1009
60. Mr. Butcher

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can give any information with regard to the position of officers in the various officer reserves?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

The desire of officers of the various reserves to know their position and prospects is well understood by the War Office, and to meet this desire a new scheme has been prepared. Interviewing boards will be established at various centres. Officers will appear before these boards, who will report upon their qualifications. The War Office will then inform the officers whether they are likely to be required within three months or six months, or whether their prospects of employment are remote. It is hoped that this arrangement will enable the officers in question to make their plans with greater certainty. Details of the scheme and the classes of officers to which it is applicable will be published.

Mr. Butcher

All other things being equal, will my right hon. Friend give preference to men who are unemployed at the time of their appearance before the board?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

In war, I am afraid, we can give preference only to merit.