HC Deb 21 September 1948 vol 456 cc692-3
43. Mr. Douglas Marshall

asked the Secretary of State for War to what extent those serving overseas and in Group 76 have been deferred; and if he will make a statement with regard to this matter.

Mr. Shinwell

The release of men in Group 76 serving in the Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Artillery, Infantry, the Army Catering Corps and the Royal Army Veterinary Corps was completed before the suspension of releases. In other Corps the release of Group 76 started on 23rd August and was to have been completed on 30th September. The number of men in this group still serving with their units overseas when releases were suspended on 14th September is not yet accurately known, but it may well be considerable.

Mr. Hogg

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the feeling of resentment which exists among men in this and I think the following group in that some of them have been released and others are caught by deferment? Will he make some allowance for that?

Mr. Shinwell

Only this morning we have been receiving reports from various theatres about the reaction of the men to these proposals, and I am very glad to say that very little trouble has ensued.

Mr. Shurmer

What is the position of men whose passages home for demobilisation have been delayed owing to lack of shipping space and who are now caught up in this deferment?

Mr. Shinwell

The lack of shipping space, in so far as it exists, primarily concerns men who are in far off theatres, and I understand that very little trouble has presented itself so far in that connection.