HC Deb 06 February 1963 vol 671 cc438-9
28. Mr. Milne

asked the Secretary of State for War what was the number of Army personnel of all ranks who applied for discharge during 1962; how many discharges were granted; and what were the main grounds far refusal.

The Under-Secretary of State for War (Mr. James Ramsden)

Records are not kept of the total number of applications submitted by soldiers for discharge.

During 1962, 4,299 male adult other ranks were discharged at their own request.

The main reasons for refusing applications for discharge were that the applicant had either served less than three years or was in one of the trades which are short of men.

Four hundred and twenty-seven of the 452 officers who applied to leave the active list were allowed to do so. The main reason for refusal was that the training given to the officer justified his further retention in the Army.

Mr. Milne

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these figures are not only disturbing but disappointing? In view of the publicity given to this problem during the nomination period for recent by-elections, will he undertake to look into them more closely and stress that money in itself is not the means of getting out of the Army?

Mr. Ramsden

I do not altogether agree with the hon. Gentleman that these figures are disappointing. They represent an improvement on last year in both trained soldiers and recruits. The question of Parliamentary candidates is rather different; the hon. Gentleman will know from my right hon. Friend's statement how that is now being handled.

Forward to