HC Deb 23 February 1954 vol 524 c179
5. Mr. Benn

asked the Secretary of State for War when the practice of compassionate postings was discontinued and why; and if he will try to get uniformity of practice with the other Service Departments.

Mr. Head

Compassionate posting was abolished in January, 1947, because so much of the Army was overseas. That is still so.

Mr. Benn

Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the second part of the Question, namely, will he try to get uniformity with other Service Departments, in that it must be the experience of many hon. Members, as it is mine, that negotiations with the War Office on this matter are much more difficult than negotiations with either the Air Force or the Navy?

Mr. Head

Our problem is much more difficult, because 80 per cent, of the fighting units of the British Army are overseas. Therefore, compassionate postings present a difficult problem, and we have the added problem, which does not obtain in the Navy or the Air Force, of wanting to avoid cross-posting between regiments.