HC Deb 29 October 1945 vol 415 cc21-2
46. Major Gates

asked the Prime Minister when it is proposed to proclaim that hostilities have ended.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

If the hon. and gallant Member is referring to the end of hostilities with Germany and Japan, I would refer him to the announcements made in this House by the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for Wood-ford (Mr. Churchill) on 8th May of this year, regarding the cessation of hostilities with Germany, and to my statement on 15th August, announcing the end of hostilities with Japan. I would remind the hon. and gallant Member that the end of hostilities does not imply the end of a state of war or emergency in all its technical aspects.

Major Gates

Is the Prime Minister aware that the Ministry of Labour entered into certain gentlemen's agreements with certain individuals who could have expected deferment, but who consented to be directed on the distinct understanding that immediately hostilities ended they would be released to their former occupation and that now the Ministry of Labour say they refuse to admit that hostilities have ended until there is a Royal Proclamation to that effect?

The Prime Minister

That seems to be a question which should be put on the Order Paper addressed to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour. I should like to be quite clear whether the hon. and gallant Member is referring, in the case of these particular gentlemen's agreements, to the end of hostilities or the official termination of the war, because gentlemen's agreements, not being drafted, are sometimes loosely worded.

Major Gates

Is the Prime Minister aware that these are in writing—

Mr. Speaker

The hon. and gallant Member has already asked a very long supplementary question.