HC Deb 09 November 1948 vol 457 cc1362-3
22. Mr. Low

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of Regular officers who have asked and have been given permission to resign their commissions since 1945; and how many belonging to each rank.

Mr. Shinwell

Since August, 1945, 2,088, made up as follows: Major-Generals and above, 4; Brigadiers and Colonels, 79; Lieutenant-Colonels, 346; Majors, 1,082; Captains, 424; and Subalterns, 153.

Mr. Low

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied with the very large number of people who have decided to leave the Army at this critical stage?

Mr. Shinwell

No doubt they have very good reasons for doing so, and we do our best to make up the leeway.

General Sir George Jeffreys

Is it not a fact that these officers who are resigning their commissions represent the number of officers who but for the war years might have done so in ordinary circumstances?

Mr. Shinwell

I have no doubt that that may be so, but, when someone goes, we always find that someone else can take his place.

Air-Commodore Harvey

Has the right hon. Gentleman asked his Department for the reason why these officers are resigning, and is it not because they are underpaid and lack proper married quarters?

Mr. Shinwell

There are, of course, obvious difficulties in regard to married quarters, and sometimes there are complaints about pay, but, on the whole, the officers are quite contented with their conditions.