HC Deb 22 June 1943 vol 390 cc988-9
28. Lieut.-Colonel Boles

asked the Secretary of State for War whether any steps are being taken to put in force the recommendations contained in the Report of the Committee on Voluntary Aid Detachments; and whether he will undertake not to put it into force until the House of Commons has had an opportunity of discussing the White Paper?

Mr. A. Henderson

As my right hon. Friend stated in his reply to the hon. Member for the Combined English Universities (Miss Rathbone) on 8th June, he has waited to promulgate his decision to accept this Report, until he had learned whether it is the wish of the House to discuss it. He is not aware of any substantial demand to debate the Report, and he proposes to issue instructions shortly.

Earl Winterton

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that those of us who took some part in the discussions leading to this matter are satisfied that this is a perfectly fair compromise which is accepted by the heads of the Service in question, and that we shall strongly resist on the Floor of the House any attempt to upset the arrangement?

Captain Crowder

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware of the great dissatisfaction that is being caused by the dismissal of Commandants of the V.A.D., and will he look into that personally?

Captain Duncan

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that that point is a cause of great unpopularity?

Mr. Henderson

There is only a limited number of Commandants, not a very large number, and I am afraid that their interests will have to be subordinated to the general interest.

Sir G. Jeffreys

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that it is not a case of the interests of the Commandants but of the interests of the V.A.D., and that these young women now have nobody to look after their interests as in the case of other Women's Services?

Mr. Henderson

I think the House will agree that this scheme on consideration is a very satisfactory solution to a difficult problem.