HC Deb 18 February 1953 vol 511 cc1232-3
37. Captain Duncan

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence whether he will release temporarily men from the Forces who were forestry workers so that they could assist in extracting timber blown down in the gales in the North-East of Scotland.

Mr. Birch

A close watch is being kept on the position. If the responsible authorities ask for assistance from the Services, their request will of course be sympathetically considered.

Captain Duncan

Is my hon. Friend aware there is a big demand for unskilled labour which can only be supervised by skilled foresters? As there cannot be many very skilled foresters in the Forces, would my hon. Friend consider releasing them until this mess is cleared up?

Mr. Birch

The consideration my hon. and gallant Friend has put forward will, of course, be kept in mind

Mr. Grimond

Will the Minister extend this temporary release to all those whose families have had their livelihood or homes affected by the recent floods and gales, as was done last year when a similar disaster took place?

Mr. Birch

That, of course, is a much wider question.