HC Deb 08 November 1944 vol 404 cc1340-1
14. Mr. Hopkinson

asked the Secretary of State for Air what was the public interest served by permitting Wing-Commander Herbert Meredith to undertake the duties of managing director of Messrs. Philip Hill Investment Trust and Philip Hill and Partners; and why this officer was allowed to resign his commission during hostilities in order to do so.

Sir A. Sinclair

The employers of this officer applied for his release from the R.A.F. because his services were urgently needed in connection with their post-war industrial activities, in particular those concerning employment and export trade. The Treasury were consulted and sup- ported the application, and as the officer was approaching his sixtieth birthday he was allowed to resign his commission.

Mr. Hopkinson

Are we to understand that the activities of Messrs. Philip Hill Investment Trust and Philip Hill and Partners are of such national importance that an officer can be released from the Service to undertake these duties?

Sir A. Sinclair

I imagine that that is why the Treasury tendered to me the advice which it did. Perhaps it would be more appropriate for the hon. Member to address that question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I can say, however, that if any officer who is 60 years of age wishes to obtain his release I shall gladly agree to it.

Mr. A. Edwards

Will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence to see that the same energy is expended on the production side of industry, to release men who are necessary?