HC Deb 09 March 1944 vol 397 c2198
75. Major Sir Goronwy Owen

asked the Secretary of State for War how many recruiting and interviewing officers there are in Wales; and how many of these are conversant with the Welsh language.

The Financial Secretary to the War Office (Mr. Arthur Henderson)

The answer to the first part of the question is six recruiting officers and six interviewing officers. As far as I am aware one interviewing officer speaks Welsh.

Sir G. Owen

Does my hon. and learned Friend not think it is essential that these officers should be able to speak the Welsh language, in view of the fact that a large number of these recruits come from rural areas where the common language used in every day life is Welsh and where they have not the opportunities of practising the English language, and will he see that in future these officers must have a knowledge of the Welsh language?

Mr. Henderson

I can assure the hon. and gallant Member that there is certainly no objection in principle to the employment of Welsh-speaking officers. If he can give me information which indicates that difficulty has arisen owing to the lack of them I will certainly look into it.

Sir G. Owen

Is the hon. and learned Member aware that I have received complaints about the difficulty of these men who are called up in expressing themselves clearly before these examining officers, and is he aware that, as I understand it, there are plenty of Welsh-speaking officers?