HC Deb 17 February 1944 vol 397 cc403-4
Major Manningham-Buller

I beg to move, in page 2, line 44, to leave out from "beginning," to "and," in line 45, and to insert: on the date of discharge from or placing on the reserve of the armed forces or of the services in section six and the First Schedule specified. This Amendment has been put down in the hope that a matter that is troubling me may be cleared up. I see, under Clauses 2 (2), that an application under the said section shall be of no effect unless it is made during the period beginning with the end of the applicant's war service. When you go on to see what war service means, it means definite whole-time war service. It seems to me that there are particular classes of persons who may be in some difficulty under that definition. Numbers of people in the Forces have been, in the course of the war, placed in what is known as Class W reserve and put back into civilian clothes to do particular jobs. They have ceased to be in whole-time employment in the Armed Forces but have not been directed into other employment by the Ministry of Labour, and it seems to me they will be in some doubt as to when they should apply. They may apply within four weeks of their going on to Class W reserve, and presumably they will have to go for a time and keep their right of reinstatement in their real civilian jobs alive.

The Attorney-General

I follow my hon. and gallant Friend's point, though I am not sure that it would not better arise on Clause 12 than here, nor am I quite sure whether the category of persons to whom he referred as people on the Class W reserve would be covered by the words he has used. War service is defined as meaning whole-time service by Clause 6 (2) which itself refers to Clause 12. Clause 12 says that where a person to whom this Act applies, whose war service has ended before his whole-time service in consequence of direction or written request made by the Ministry of Labour, that has to be treated as whole-time service and his rights are put in cold storage until he is free. If my hon. Friend has a category of persons who he thinks come within the principle of that Sub-section but are not covered by it, he will perhaps amplify what he has said to the Parliamentary Secretary or to the Minister and we will look at it before the Report Stage. The idea is primarily whole-time service. If, when you come out of whole-time service, you are not your own master and are put in some special job under direction, your rights with regard to your own employment are kept in cold storage and can be revived when you are free.

Major Manningham-Buller

I will try to bring to the right hon. Gentleman's notice a particular class who are not covered but who ought to have their rights in cold storage.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.