HC Deb 06 May 1941 vol 371 cc675-6
15. Mr. Robert Gibson

asked the Secretary of State for War, how many highly-skilled joiners. are employed as assistant cooks in the Army; and what steps he is taking to have them replaced by individuals who are not trained craftsmen and returned to essential carpentry work of national importance?

Captain Margesson

Every effort is made to ensure that skilled men in the Army are used to the best advantage. In the case of men registered under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act, 1939, skilled men below the age of reservation in certain trades, which include carpentry, are called up only for employment in the Service trades corresponding to their civil occupations. If my hon. and learned Friend has in mind any par-

ticular case in which a man is employed in a capacity in which his special qualifications appear to be wasted and will let me have details, I shall be very glad to look into it.

Mr. Gibson

Has the right hon. Gentleman seen particulars of the special case that I have sent to his Department?

Captain Margesson

It has not come to my immediate attention.

Mr. Bellenger

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that there are considerable numbers of skilled men in the Army and Air Services who are not being made full use of? What is the procedure if a soldier goes to his commanding officer and can get no remedy?

Captain Margesson

It is my object to see that all square pegs are put into square holes. I do not want to see highly skilled men doing jobs on which those not skilled are working. I' am anxious to have any cases brought to my notice.

Mr. Thorne

Is it not a great advantage to these men to have learnt cooking when they go back home?