HC Deb 04 December 1946 vol 431 c333
51. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister without Portfolio whether, in order to reduce the number of deserters from the Services, he will devise some form of conditional amnesty for those deserters who voluntarily come forward to complete their term of service.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given by the Secretary of State for War to the hon. Member for Abingdon (Sir R. Glyn) on 28th November, of which I am sending him a copy. I am not at present in a position to add to that reply.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

While I thank my right hon. Friend for offering to send me a reply, of which I already have a copy in my possession, is he aware that, although this problem is said to be under continual but seemingly ineffectual review, the number of deserters has remained about 20,000 for nearly 12 months, and that public opinion generally deplores this uneconomic and demoralising state of affairs?

Mr. Speaker

I do not think supplementary questions ought to be miniature speeches; they should be short and snappy.

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