HC Deb 04 December 1946 vol 431 c332
49. Mr. Heathcoat Amory

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether, in order to even up the relative rates of release between the Services, he will consider a temporary transfer of certain commitments from the Service with the slowest rate of release to that in which the rate is fastest.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

The proposal to transfer commitments from one Service to another, in order to even up the rate of release, has been exhaustively examined in recent months. It was found that the help which could be given by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force would be so small that transfers would, in practice, be uneconomical, and that they would involve the waste of the technically trained manpower of these two Services. Moreover, the size of the age and service groups now being released from the Royal Navy and the R.A.F. is shrinking fast; for this reason, delay in the release of these groups would have little effect on the rate of releases from the Army.

Mr. Amory

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that mariners are, by tradition, handymen, who can take on any useful job in their stride, and carry it out efficiently?

Mr. Chetwynd

Would my right hon. Friend consider restricting entry into the Royal Navy until the present disparity of release has been evened up?

Mr. Noel-Baker

I will ask my right hon. Friend to consider that.