HC Deb 30 June 1954 vol 529 cc1329-30
9. Sir R. Acland

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has now been able to postpone the overseas posting of a stoker petty officer, particulars of whose case have been sent to him in writing.

Mr. J. P. L. Thomas

No, Sir. My hon. and gallant Friend the Parliamentary Secretary has already informed the hon. Member that the circumstances of this case do not justify postponement of draft.

Sir R. Acland

Why is there not in the Navy any provision comparable to that of Memorandum 10 of January, 1954, in the R.A.F., whereby the R.A.F. men are entitled to postponement of overseas posting within three months of the date on which their wives are expecting the birth of a baby?

Mr. Thomas

I would remind the hon. Member that the drafting conditions in the Navy are considerably more difficult than in the R.A.F. There is always a long chain of drafting and, if alterations are made, it causes hardship elsewhere. We have done our best to modify the conditions. This case refers to a prospective confinement. Drafting is delayed if complications are expected, or if arrangement cannot be made for the wife and family to be looked after by other people during the confinement.