HC Deb 20 February 1945 vol 408 cc607-8
29. Mr. Hugh Lawson

asked the Secretary of State for War what period men, posted from M.E.F. to this country as tour expired are serving here before being posted to the B.L.A.

11. Mr. Cluse

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the serious depreciation in morale which has occurred among Servicemen on leave in this country after long experience abroad, caused by their knowledge that, although they may soon return to the fighting line, other Servicemen who have not served abroad will remain without experience of war conditions in the front line; and whether he can make arrangements for more equitable posting for foreign service in future.

Sir J. Grigg

A man on leave from abroad is not replaced in his unit and he must return to it when his leave is over. In the case of a man who returns to this country not on leave but on repatriation after long service overseas, the policy is to keep him here for at least three months and not to post him overseas again even then if there is another man who has not yet served overseas and who is equally suitable and available. This country is the main base for all our forces and a number of the jobs here are highly technical and specialised and cannot be done by old and unfit men. But in increasing numbers men are being found for these jobs from those who are being repatriated month by month from overseas.

Mr. Lawson

What is the average period served here by men who are posted as tour expired men?

Sir J. Grigg

Perhaps the hon. Member would put that down.