HC Deb 26 March 1946 vol 421 cc179-81
15. Mr. W. Shepherd

asked the Secretary of State for War the reason for the delay in the release of other ranks in the R. A. M. C.

Mr. Lawson

There is no delay in the release of other ranks in the R.A.M.C. Apart from any individual deferments on grounds of vital military necessity which may be unavoidable, R.A.M.C. other ranks will be released in accordance with the general programme for the Army as a whole.

19. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Secretary of State for War the estimated daily average release from the Army during the months of March, April and May, 1946.

Mr. Lawson

To achieve the release programme for March, April and May the following daily averages should be attained: March, 6,140 men, 580 women; April, 4,350 men, 310 women; May. 4,490 men, 280 women.

28. Mr. Garry Allighan

asked the Secretary of State for War why men of long service do not get 56 days' release leave if they are released in Class C.

Mr. Lawson

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave the hon. and gallant Member for Northern Dorset (Lieut.-Colonel Byers) on 16th October. 1945.

Mr. Allighan

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the circumstances which compel many of these men to seek Class C compassionate release also demand that they should be in a financial position to help those circumstances? Does he not think it rather paltry to withhold from them wages they would have got if they were not released because of domestic adversity?

Mr. Lawson

I must make it plain to the House that these matters look far different to men who have been on service for years at the other end than to people on service at this end. There are other provisions where there is financial need and the commanding officer has power to grant 28 days' leave.

Mr. Gallacher

Is it not true that men at the other end do not get the money, while men at this end do not get the compassionate leave, but get the money?

Mr. Lawson

I was speaking of men under Class A and about the feeling there is among the men at the other end. I have seen very strong examples of that

Mr. Vernon Bartlett

Surely, the number of cases where resentment is felt because a man is released under Class C must be very small indeed? Is it not a fact that these people are suffering not only great financial strain, but mental strain from the fact that they have to apply for Class C release?

Mr. Lawson

I can assure hon. Members that there are many cases. I stated to the House a fortnight ago that there were no fewer than 20,000 releases under Class C. It does not make the slightest difference whether Class B or Class C are concerned, but I can assure the House that I have observed that there is indignation on this matter.