HC Deb 21 September 1948 vol 456 cc674-5
5. Mr. A. R. W. Low

asked the Minister of Labour on what list of reserved occupations ex-Service men of the Class Z reserve would be exempted from recall in the event of an emergency; and whether a register of men so exempt is now held by him or in Service Departments.

Mr. Isaacs

It would not be in the public interest to supply the information asked for.

Mr. Low

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether there is an up-to-date list of reserved occupations, and will he also assure the House that something is being done along the lines suggested in the Question?

Mr. Isaacs

I could not say more than the answer I have given. I can assure the hon. Member that the Ministry does keep an up-to-date list of reserved occupations.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Is it not a fact that none of the men concerned know whether or not they are liable to be recalled in an emergency?

Mr. Isaacs

No, and it is also a fact that if some of the men not concerned knew, it might well happen that they would find themselves very advantageously placed.

Earl Winterton

Surely the right hon. Gentleman has got to give some other reason in view of the fact that such information was available in the even more: critical international situation before the last two wars? What is the reason for this extraordinary secrecy? Is it that the Government have no plan of any sort?

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir. It is because the Government have a - plan and will announce it in due course and they do not want their actions in the matter to be prematurely disclosed.

Squadron-Leader Fleming

is it not made clear on the man's document, if he is on the Class Z reserve, whether or not he is liable to be recalled?

Mr. Isaacs

That may be so. I could not say without looking at the document.

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