asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions (1) if he will see that no man who is a servant of the Ministry is victimised for having served his country; whether he is aware that cases have arisen where ex-service men in the Disposal 2421W Board have had obstacles placed in their way by the Establishment Department to prevent them continuing medical treatment requisite upon disability contracted on active service; and if he can see his way to arrange for matters of this sort to be impartially investigated by representatives of both ex-service men and Civil Servants? (2) Whether ex-service men in the Disposal Board of the Ministry of Munitions have been penalised on account of their ill-health due to disability contracted while serving their country overseas; whether these men have been asked either to resign or accept a smaller salary: and whether they have had their cases investigated?
§ Mr. KELLAWAY
The ex-service men in the Ministry of Munitions have an organisation which works in the closest co-operation with the Establishment Department, and this organisation has a Committee in each group of the Ministry. I am advised by the Chief Officer of the organisation that should any grievances, such as suggested by my hon and gallant Friend, exist, they would in the ordinary way, be brought to the notice of this association, who, through their executive, would at once make representations to the Establishment Department. No such cases have been reporterd to the ex-service men's organisation. The practice of the Ministry in reducing staff is to give preference in retention, wherever possible, to ex-service men in the best paid posts still available which they are qualified to fill. No disabled ex-service man is penalised on account of his physical disability. On the contrary, disabled men are given preference over all others in any suitable employment available. In actual practice every facility is afforded to disabled men on the staff to obtain any special medical treatment they require. Committees composed of Civil Servants and representatives of the ex-service men are already in existence for dealing with questions affecting the position of ex-service men in the Ministry, and any case in which investigation is asked for would be inquired into by one of these Committees.