HC Deb 23 January 1951 vol 483 cc18-20
32. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that many Class Z Reservists feel that an injustice will be done to them if men who stayed at home in the last war are once more reserved: and if he will arrange for married Class Z Reservists to take over the civilian jobs of those who were previously reserved.

Mr. Bevan

I am aware that there is some feeling of the kind the hon. Member describes. It would be quite impracticable to adopt the suggestion in the second part of the Question.

Mr. Osborne

Is the Minister aware that the wives of these Class Z Reservists feel they are likely to be subject to grave injustice? Will he give special consideration at least to the men who served five or six years abroad? Will he apply the principle of equal shares in this great matter?

Mr. Bevan

I think the hon. Member had better await the announcement about the Class Z Reservists before forming any conclusion.

Mr. Osborne

When will that be?

Mr. Oliver Lyttelton

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when we can expect that announcement?

Mr. Bevan

Before long, I hope.

Mr. Lyttelton

Would the right hon. Gentleman be a little more precise, as this is a matter of great public interest?

Mr. Bevan

Yes, it is a matter of great public interest because a great deal of misrepresentation has been made, and if some newspapers exercised more restraint—[An HON. MEMBER: "And some Ministers."]—many citizens of the country would be less disturbed.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Would my right hon. Friend consider, owing to the obvious reluctance of the Class Z Reservists, making service purely voluntary?

Mr. Bevan

That is impracticable.

33. Lieut.-Commander Clark Hutchison

asked the Minister of Labour if he will take steps to ensure that men in Class Z Reserve are not called up for further training until all men of comparable age who are fit for service but have never actually served in the Forces have first been called up for training.

Mr. Bevan

I do not think the hon. and gallant Member's suggestion would be practicable.

Lieut.-Commander Hutchison

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Class Z men have very strong feelings about this matter, and will not he give special consideration to this suggestion before a decision is made?

Mr. Bevan

If the hon. and gallant Member will examine the implications of his suggestion, he will see that it is utterly hopeless to carry it out.

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