HC Deb 27 March 1945 vol 409 cc1313-4
53. Mr. Cocks

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in view of the fact that officers and men who are released or honourably discharged from the Forces are to be granted 56 days' release leave on full pay, whether those who have already been honourably discharged with only 28 days' leave will have the additional 28 days' pay made up to them at the appropriate time.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury Peake)

I have been asked to reply. The answer is "No, Sir." As indicated in the White Paper on the Re-allocation of Man-power between the Armed Forces and civilian employment during the interim period (Cmd. 6548), the primary object of the 56 days' release leave is to assist the resettlement of men released in their turn under the Re-allocation Scheme. The same considerations do not apply in the case of men who have already been resettled in civil life.

Mr. Cocks

In view of the fact that most of these soldiers have been discharged on medical grounds, there may be some difficulty in re-settling them even now, because it involves considerable expenditure, so will my right hon. Friend -not reconsider the matter, especially in view of the fact that men discharged now on medical grounds get the 56 days?

Mr. Peake

I was going to make the point that the hon. Member has made, that officers and men discharged on medical grounds get the full 56 days.

Mr. Shinwell

Will the right hon. Gentleman make it quite clear that although this is a Government decision, the matter is yet to come before the House, that a Debate has been promised, and therefore that it is within the prerogative of hon. Members to induce the Government to change their mind?

Mr. Peake

By all means.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

May I ask my right hon. Friend in what way the circumstances of the men now released differ from the circumstances of men who will be released later?

Mr. Peake

The point is that after the termination of hostilities in Germany there will be a steady flow of men being released from the Forces in Class A, and it is for the special needs of those men and in order to provide them with a full opportunity of securing a suitable job that the 56 days' leave is granted.

Mr. Cocks

Was the right hon. Gentleman's statement that soldiers discharged on medical grounds get 56 days, retrospective?

Mr. Peake

Yes, Sir.

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