HC Deb 18 December 1945 vol 417 cc1104-5
40. Mr. Cluse

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is now able to make a statement about the position of men who were granted indefinite release from the Forces for employment in industry before the end of the war, and who are still in civilian employment.

84. Major Conant

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has any statement to make with regard to members of the Armed Forces on indefinite release to industry.

Mr. Isaacs

Throughout the war certain members of the Forces have been released for an indefinite period to civilian employment of vital national importance. Such men were released before the Class B scheme was introduced and many of them are still in civilian employment. Their position is as follows:

Men over the current call-up age, i.e., men born before 1st July, 1915, will not be recalled to the Forces except in the event of a further emergency. They will be in exactly the same position, so far as labour controls are concerned, as civilians of the same age and occupation.

The position of men within the present call-up ages, i.e., men born on or after 1st July, 1915, will depend upon the date on which they would have been released from the Forces in Class A had they remained continuously in the Forces.

If this date has not arrived they will be required to remain in the employment for which they were released. If they leave that employment, or if their services are no longer needed, they will be considered for recall to the Forces. If they are not wanted in the Forces they will be required to take other work of national importance for which they have the necessary qualifications. If the date has arrived they will not be recalled to the Forces, except in the event of a further emergency, and as regards civilian employment, will be in exactly the same position as other civilian workers.

Men who were released from the Forces for civilian employment before the Government's release scheme came into operation on 18th June, 1945, are not entitled to any release leave payments under that Scheme. Payment of war gratuity, postwar credits in respect of "other ranks" service and overseas service grants will be made as soon as possible.

Captain Crowder

As the emergency Regulations are still in force, what does the right hon. Gentleman mean by his reference to "a further emergency "?

Mr. Isaacs

What I think we are trying to guard against is the very unlikely possibility of something suddenly emerging which might need men to be recalled to the Forces.

Major Conant

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether those who have a written guarantee that their service with industry will count towards their current engagement, will as promised be released under the terms of Class A and not be subject to direction?

Mr. Isaacs

Control and direction will still remain over those men who are within the age limit for service in the Forces, but perhaps if the hon. and gallant Gentleman will look at the answer in detail, he might find the point dealt with.

Mr. Evelyn Walkden

May I put a point about the Bevin boys and men who volunteered to work in the mines in accordance with appeals made by the Government? Will such men be relieved of any further call-up or direction when the category A release date of their group is reached?

Mr. Isaacs

The answer relates to men whose industrial service has been given on release from military service for this purpose during the war.