HC Deb 14 November 1945 vol 415 cc2102-3
25. Mr. Lipson

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air why R.A.F. personnel of Transport Command at R.A.F. Station, Stoney Cross, Hampshire, were asked to volunteer to extend their service by six months under a threat that their service would be compulsorily extended if volunteers were not forthcoming; and will he meet service requirements by measures which do not violate the age and length of service principles for release.

Mr. Strachey

I am assured that no threat was made to retain the men of this Station. What was said was that it might be necessary to invoke the Military Necessity clause of the White Paper, for the retention of certain key individuals of Transport Command, since the needs of the release programme as a whole left us no alternative. The number of men retained in this way will be kept to the minimum, and each case will come to the Air Ministry for approval.

Mr. Lipson

Why did not the technical officer, who on 2nd November is alleged to have made this threat, appeal for volunteers without any qualification whatever? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that as a result of the way in which that officer put it, not a single volunteer has been forthcoming?

Mr. Strachey

I do not know whether the particular officer made a good speech or a bad one, but I can assure the hon. Member that no threat whatever was used.