HC Deb 13 December 1945 vol 417 cc788-9W
Mr. T. Macpherson

asked the Secretary of State for War the operational necessity to defer the release for three months of architects, surveyors and other skilled housing non-commissioned officers and men in 277 R.E. Works Section, C.M.F., at Salonika; and who gave authority for their deferment.

Mr. Lawson

Army commanders have authority to approve deferment on these grounds in individual cases. This authority is used very sparingly, but there is a general shortage of skilled men in the Royal Engineers, accentuated by the large number of Class B releases concurrently with the demand for improved accommodation and amenities in all Commands. Work in Greece, including the provision of facilities for the R.A.F., is particularly heavy at present and I have no reason to assume that more deferments have been authorised than are necessary to meet the immediate needs of the situation. I will, however, confirm that this is the case by inquiries of the command concerned. Every endeavour is made to provide replacements as quickly as possible in order to limit the period of deferment.

Sir C. Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for War when the officers in Group 25 will be released, seeing that they were not mentioned in the last statement on demobilisation which applied to noncommissioned officers and men.

Mr. Bellenger

The statement by my right hon. Friend covered the releases up to about the end of February, 1946. It is not possible at the moment to give exact dates for later releases but a further statement will be made as soon as the requirements of officers in the spring of 1946 have been worked out.