HC Deb 15 November 1944 vol 404 cc1957-8
45. Captain Duncan

asked the Prime Minister whether he will instruct the Ministers concerned to relax the conditions under which applications for indefinite release from service by officers and men are now considered in all cases where the applicant is of low medical category, over 40 years of age and serv- ing in a static establishment or station and where he can show that he has a business, particularly a small business, or one connected with the export trade, to which to return.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill)

I need hardly remind my hon. and gallant Friend that the static establishments and stations referred to by him are necessary for the prosecution of the war. The officers and men over 40 years old and of low medical category who are employed there relieve other officers and men for more active duty and in view of the present shortage of man-power I regret that the present arrangements for indefinite release from the Forces cannot be extended.

Captain Duncan

Does my right hon. Friend realise that in view of the changed war situation, and the prospective stand-down of the Home Guard, a large number of officers and other ranks in the Army of these types are now, or are about to be in the near future, unemployed? Will my right Friend review the situation in the light of these new facts?

The Prime Minister

The new fact that stares one most in the face is the extremely heavy fighting which is continuing week by week, and which will certainly last for a good long time. I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War will be glad to discuss with my hon. and gallant Friend the particular point he makes about plenty of spare men. We have not noticed it so far.