HL Deb 27 July 1982 vol 434 cc121-2
The Earl of Onslow

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is their policy to retain as many ex-wounded servicemen with the colours as wish to continue to serve.

The Earl of Avon

My Lords, it is indeed our policy to retain as many servicemen who have been injured as remain fit to serve.

The Earl of Onslow

My Lords, from the bottom of my heart may I thank my noble friend for that Answer. Is he aware that a certain amount of worry had been expressed to me that the Army would have to make a great deal of extra effort to keep some of these wounded soldiers from the Falkland Islands with the colours, that they were worried about their future and that his Answer has given us a very large amount of hope and satisfaction?

The Earl of Avon

My Lords, the services take pains to consider cases of this sort and, of course, will continue to do so in the present light.

Lord Shinwell

My Lords, surely some tasks could be allotted to these men who have fought on behalf of the country and been wounded, rather than to throw them onto the unemployed heap. Do we not have enough unemployed? Surely there are semi-military tasks—partly of a civil character and partly of a military character—on which these wounded men could be employed?

The Earl of Avon

My Lords, indeed that is so, and I hope that my original reply will have laid low any doubts whatever. There are many examples that I could give of such circumstances.

Lord Paget of Northampton

My Lords, surely this is not confined to semi-military tasks. Should we not remember Nelson and Paget?

The Earl of Avon

My Lords, I note the noble Lord's remark and, of course, I only wish that the late Lord Bourne was with us as well.

Lord Crawshaw

My Lords, is my noble friend aware that his encouraging and enlightened response will be of enormous help to thousands of people outside military circles who so often look to the armed forces for a lead in matters of this sort, and who will be greatly encouraged by this?

The Earl of Avon

My Lords, I am indeed grateful to the noble Lord for stressing this particular attitude outside military circles.

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