HC Deb 07 June 1945 vol 411 cc1063-4
48. Air Vice-Marshal Bennett

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider modifying the existing regulations whereby serving personnel who are granted compassionate temporary release are made to extend their subsequent service beyond their normal release date by the amount equal to their temporary release.

The Prime Minister

No, Sir.

Air Vice-Marshal Bennett

Would the Prime Minister not agree that if it is right in the first case that the man should have been granted leave on compassionate grounds, it would be unjust for him to be subsequently forced to suffer for it?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. If you argued it out on strict equality, the argument would go the other way. Where a man has private troubles, or important business affairs, and is sent back and has special leave, while so many others who have been out longer than he has are longing to get home, I do not see why that specially advanced and specially cherished additional emergency compassionate leave should be deducted from the total time which the man has to serve.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Surely the right hon. Gentleman must see that this is a vicious circle? Many of these men are allowed to go home and attend to business, and the reasons which send them home on compassionate leave do not end, but continue. Is not the Prime Minister also aware that the numbers released in this way temporarily are so few that they make no difference at all to ordinary releases under Class A?

Vice-Admiral Taylor

Is my right hon. Friend not aware that cases of compassionate leave are very carefully investigated?

Viscountess Astor

Do not some of the men coming home have to meet the most tragic circumstances? I am not talking about business, but real heartbreak and sorrow. Surely they ought not to have to pay in leave for that?

The Prime Minister

The principle that has been settled is that compassionate leave given in special circumstances ought not to count for the various Service groups.