HC Deb 19 September 1950 vol 478 cc1695-6
16. Mr. George Ward

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that officers of the quartermaster class, who hold war emergency commissions in the Royal Army Service Corps and are DVXR extensions until 31st December, 1950, have been informed that no further extensions will be granted; that these officers are holding appointments as Royal Army Service Corps officers in charge of barracks and are not easily replaced; that their retention would make available large numbers of young men for field force units; and whether he will review his policy in this matter.

Mr. Strachey

The XR scheme was introduced to enable the Army to employ ex-Regular other ranks who were granted emergency commissions for these or similar appointments until there were sufficient Regular and short service officers to take their place. In the case of officers in charge of barracks, it is anticipated that there will be sufficient Regular quartermasters or short service officers to take the place of the XR deferred emergency commissioned officers by 31st December, 1950. No young officers suitable for field force units will be used to fill these appointments.

Mr. Ward

Does the Minister think it is the right moment to force these men to leave the Army against their wishes while they are still doing a useful job, for which they have been trained?

Mr. Strachey

There is the question of the availability of officers of the quartermaster class who are not available for field force units, and we have to judge the two claims for these appointments one against the other, but I will bear in mind the consideration which the hon. Gentleman mentioned.