HC Deb 15 March 1955 vol 538 cc1095-6
2. Mr. J. Eden

asked the Minister of Labour what instructions he has issued to his Department with regard to forwarding the employment in civil life of retired Regular officers.

Mr. Watkinson

The general effect of the instructions to appointments offices and local offices is to ensure that they do all they can to help the Regular officer to obtain the type of employment or training best suited to his capabilities and wishes.

The Advisory Council on Relationship between Employment in the Services and Civilian Life, set up in 1950, has given much attention to the resettlement problems of Regular officers. Under its guidance the Ministry has prepared a booklet, which will be issued to Regular officers who are approaching their retirement. I will send my hon. Friend a copy at an early date.

Mr. Eden

While I appreciate what my hon. Friend has said, may I ask him whether he does not agree with me that a large majority of these officers, who have already spent a great deal of their life in public service, would be particularly suited for employment in Government Departments? Does he not consider that it would be advisable for him not only to circulate his own Department but also to encourage his right hon. Friends to circulate their Departments to find possible vacancies which would be suitable for officers who have retired from the Services, bearing in mind that they have many years of active life ahead and have already been used to serving their country?

Mr. Watkinson

The booklet which I will send to my hon. Friend outlines very clearly what the retired officer, or the officer who knows he is to be retired, should do to get a job in the public service. Vacancies which exist are always known by my appointments offices, one purpose of which is to try to help retired officers.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is the hon. Member aware that the highest ranking officers, such as air marshals and field marshals, have no difficulty whatever in finding appointments, because they immediately become directors of one of the Big Five banks, although they have no banking experience?