HC Deb 21 August 1945 vol 413 cc444-5
54. Mr De la Bère

asked the Prime Minister whether he will now give an assurance that there will be a speed-up of release from the Forces, and that concessions in the case of applications for compassionate release on the grounds of genuine hardship will be made.

The Prime Minister

I have already given an assurance that personnel will be released as rapidly as military commitments permit. The number of applications for compassionate releases is very large and is increasing. It would not be possible to approve all applications without seriously prejudicing normal releases, but cases of genuine hardship are treated with all possible sympathy.

Mr. De la Bère

Does the Prime Minister realise that, in connection with compassionate release, the system is rather long and very often the object of release is past, and cannot he do something to speed this up for us?

The Prime Minister

I do not think so, in my experience, but if the hon. Member has any particular case in which he thinks there has been undue delay, I will gladly look into it.

Mr. De la Bère

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that certain sections of the War Office are hopelessly dilatory and need further assistance?

Major Guy Lloyd

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the Department which deals with compassionate release is hopelessly understaffed and consequently very behind in work?

The Prime Minister

I will ask my right hon. Friend the new Secretary of State for War to see if he can improve that.

Several Hon. Members rose


Mr. Speaker

If we have a lot of supplementary questions we can only get through a very few Questions.

62. Lieut.-Colonel Hare

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the fact that a large number of persons, at present in the Armed Forces, who owe their livelihood to small businesses cannot, under existing regulations, be released permanently when adequate proof is given that, due to their absence, their businesses are being forced to close down, he is prepared to consider remedial legislation to protect the just interests of such individuals.

The Prime Minister

I do not know what remedial measures the hon. and gallant Member has in mind; but if he will bring any specific cases of hardship to the notice of the responsible Minister, they will be examined sympathetically.

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