HC Deb 27 November 1956 vol 561 c208
16. Mr. Hayman

asked the Secretary of State for War how many officers have been permitted to retire voluntarily before completing their full period on the active list in each of the last five years, to the latest convenient date.

Mr. Hare

The figures for each of the years 1952 to 1955 are 646, 531, 594 and 746. That for the first ten months of 1956 was 505.

Mr. Hayman

Why must men below the rank of officer purchase their discharges while officers are given them voluntarily?

Mr. Hare

The quick answer is that officers are not permitted to resign in the early years of their service and, as long as there is no emergency, other ranks are permitted to do so.

Mr. P. Williams

Will my right hon. Friend place no barriers in the way of the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) and the hon. Member for Wednesbury (Mr. S. N. Evans) completing their national service?