HC Deb 07 December 1948 vol 459 cc263-4
43. Mr. William Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for War why 19066467 L /Cpl. C. M. Richer, O.P.S. Section, Vienna Signal Troop, Vienna Signal Squadron, B.T.A., whose term of service should have ended on 14th September, 1948, and was extended for three months to 14th December, is now only due to be demobilised on 28th December; how many others of the same group are in a similar position; and if he will get these young men home to their parents in time for Christmas.

Mr. Shinwell

This non-commissioned officer is in age and service group 77. The original release dates for this group were 1st October to 26th October. Since release has been postponed for three months in accordance with the Government announcement made on 15th September, the new release dates for the group are 31st December to 26th January. There are approximately 11,000 officers and men of the same group due to be released between these dates. The House will appreciate that it would not be possible to accelerate the release of one particular group.

Mr. Teeling

As the Minister says that the release dates start on 31st December, and as he is already releasing this boy on the 28th December, would it not be possible to bring the release forward for these extra few days? These boys have not been home for Christmas for two or three years to meet the rest of their families.

Mr. Shinwell

I am informed that it is possible that some of them may be lucky enough to reach home before Christmas.