HC Deb 18 July 1944 vol 402 cc3-4
17. Sir Irving Albery

asked the Secretary of State for War what steps are taken, when middle-aged officers become redundant, to facilitate their employment in some other capacity by the War Office or in some other work of national importance.

Sir J. Grigg

An officer who becomes redundant in his present employment is considered for fresh employment not only within his own Arm but elsewhere within the resources of the Army. His services are not dispensed with until it is established that there is no prospect of Army employment suited to his age, qualifications and medical category.

Sir I. Albery

Is my right hon. Friend not aware that there are to-day many officers of efficient age and considerable experience who are practically doing nothing for the war effort?

Sir J. Grigg

I am very sorry that that should be so but the fact remains that the services of officers are not dispensed with until it is established that there is no prospect of further Army employment suitable for them.

Mr. Shinwell

In that event, is it impossible, by consultation with other Govern- ment Departments, to find some employment for these people, who are bound to have qualifications of some kind, perhaps in the realm of Civil Defence?

Sir J. Grigg

There are liaison arrangements with the Ministry of Labour. If the hon. Gentleman wants to know exactly what those are, perhaps he will address the Minister.

Sir Herbert Williams

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this device is being used to deprive people of pensions, because, if they have suffered deterioration of health, or have had an accident outside, they are told that there is no employment suitable for them, and they are discharged from the Forces?

Sir J. Grigg

My hon. Friend is making a very serious accusation and he ought to bring forward some specific evidence in support of it.

Sir H. Williams

I have been in correspondence with the Department for three weeks over a particular case.

Sir J. Grigg

I know.