HC Deb 06 November 1945 vol 415 cc1070-1
34. Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Labour why military personnel who have been allocated to civilian duties during their military service are not permitted to count the period so covered towards demobilisation.

Mr. Isaacs

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Carnarvonshire (Mr. G. Roberts) on 23rd August, a copy of which I am sending him.

Sir T. Moore

How can this obvious injustice be justified, since these men did not choose that particular method of serving their country, and were directed?

Mr. Speaker

The hon. and gallant Member is now arguing with the Minister and not asking a question.

37. Mr. Warbey

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider the advisability of allowing periods of release from the Forces to types of civil employment involving considerable personal risk, such as the repairing of gas mains during the heavy air raids on London and other towns, to count in determining the order of release from the Forces.

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir. I am afraid I could not draw a distinction between civilian employments based on the relative degree of danger to which those engaged in them were exposed.

Mr. Warbey

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these men felt that they were doing their country a service by volunteering for duties involving just as much personal danger and hard work as if they were serving with the Colours; and is there not a special case for the consideration of men such as these?

Mr. Isaacs

Such consideration would apply with equal force to the Fire Service, Civil Defence Service, and to engineering workers and others who continued to work during the air raids, and it would be very difficult to draw a distinction.

40. Mr. Shurmer

asked the Minister of Labour if, in view of the recent concession given to men of the R.A.F. that time spent in industry during temporary release shall count as service for grouping, he will consider giving the same concession to men in the Army.

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir. I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Air to the hon. and gallant Member for Waterloo (Captain Bullock) on 10th October, a copy of which I am sending him.