HC Deb 12 December 1945 vol 417 cc566-7W
Major Digby

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that many members of the W.R.N.S., formerly employed on SDX duties, were compulsorily remustered as writers after the end of the war in Europe, with the result that their demobilisation is now being delayed; and whether he will make arrangements for these girls to be released on the same date as they would have been demobilised had they not been compulsorily remustered to a trade where demobilisation is particularly slow.

Mr. Alexander

No, Sir. It is an essential feature of the release scheme that every effort should be made to speed up release in those branches where, because of the importance of the duties per- formed, the rate of release is below the average. In order to achieve this, steps are being taken throughout the Navy to retrain personnel in those branches in which a faster rate of release is possible, or in which the personnel become entirely redundant.

Sir J. Mellor

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he has issued an instruction, similar to Air Ministry signal PM 7737, dated 15th November, with a view to accelerating releases under Class B; and whether such instruction was similarly limited to commands at home.

Mr. Alexander

The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes, Sir." The Admiralty instructions were contained in a General Message to Commands at home and abroad.

Sir G. Fox

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty how many of the 10,000 agricultural workers to be given Class B block releases are to be taken from the Navy; what conditions with regard to the age and length of service categories of these men will be applied; and how many men will be released during the next three months, respectively.

Mr. Alexander

The answer to the first part of the Question is 1,066. In addition about100 will be released on nomination by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Those eligible for block re lease will be selected from Admiralty records according to their pre-entry occupations in order of age and service groups after those who are due for release in Class A.

I am not in a position to give a direct answer to the last part of the Question as release will be offered to eligible personnel irrespective of the station on which they are serving and in some cases it will be necessary to provide reliefs. The hon. and gallant Member may, however, rest assured that every effort will be made to release them all as early as possible.