HC Deb 06 December 1950 vol 482 c358
47. Viscount Hinchingbrooke

asked the Minister of Defence how many officers and men on Regular engagement, whose period of service has expired, are serving in the Korean theatre.

Mr. Shinwell

The information is not readily available, but I will send the noble Lord such information as can be obtained.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

While everyone will agree that no one wishes to put a strain upon the wireless to Korea at this time, of all times, may I ask if the collection of these statistics is not of vital consequence, in view of the necessity to prepare a plan for release and replacement?

Mr. Shinwell

As I have said, I shall try to get the information.

Mr. Martin Lindsay

Is it not a fact that this information is in the hands of the record offices, and can, therefore, very easily be obtained? Is not the right hon. Gentleman's reluctance to give it a political one?

Mr. Shinwell

I cannot imagine what political reason I could have for refusing to give this information. There are no political implications involved. If as the hon. Member says, the information is available in the record offices I shall find out, and the hon. Member and the House will have it.

Mr. Lindsay

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is disgraceful that time-expired men have now to be kept after five years of conscription?

Mr. Shinwell

That is quite a different question. I have been asked for the numbers of men. I have not got that information available. If I can obtain it, I shall give it.