HC Deb 27 October 1919 vol 120 c296W

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider the desirability of recommending to the War Office for demobilisation the cases of men who are urgently needed for the development of industry in this country; whether many such cases are brought to his notice; and whether, in view of the need for creating employment, the present policy of inactivity should be at once changed?


I have received a number of representations for the early release of particular classes of men which, taken together, cover a considerable part of the men still remaining in the Army. Arrangements have been made for securing that the whole of the comparatively small number of men still serving in the Army who are eligible for demobilisation, will be dispatched for release before 1st April next, and, having regard to this fact, I am not prepared to recommend to the War Office that any general arrangements for priority of release on industrial grounds should be revived at the present stage. Certain limited proposals, chiefly affecting the building trades, are under consideration with the War Office and the Ministry of Health, but I cannot yet say how far it will be possible to give effect to them.