HC Deb 20 December 1945 vol 417 cc1665-9W
Commander Maitland

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the delay which occurred in notifying Major G. H. Sanderson, of the R.A.M.C, of his release and in bringing him back to this country from India; and whether, in view of the urgent need for the services of this doctor in the large area of Lincolnshire in which he is in practice, he will arrange for this matter to be dealt with at the earliest opportunity.

Mr. Lawson

This officer's release in Class B was authorised in October last, the Overseas Command having been notified by signal on 22nd October. Some delay is inevitable when officers have to be brought home from the Far East, owing to the distances involved, and the wide deployment of troops and the shortage of shipping. For this reason, applications for Class B releases are given high priority when allotment of passages is made, and provided Major Sanderson has accepted the offer of Class B release, his return at an early date may be expected.

Mr. De la Bère

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will now make a statement regarding the case of T/14902343 Driver K. Pratt of the R.A.S.C.. who, it is alleged, was sent to the East from a mobilisation centre without medical examination, especally having regard to the written medical certificate that this man had chronic sinusitis before he embarked.

Mr. Lawson

Driver Pratt was medically examined at the mobilisation centre on 2nd November, 1945, prior to proceeding overseas on 6th November, 1945. At that examination he neither complained of sinusitis nor did he produce any medical certificate to the effect that he was suffering from this disability. I am sending further details to the hon. Member by letter.

Major Wilkes

asked the Secretary of State for War when a decision will be made in the case of 4267943 Private D. Williams, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, attached East Yorks Regiment, now of 76, Blenheim Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne, details of which he was informed by the hon. Member for Newcastle, Central, in a letter of 26th November, 1945

Mr. Lawson

The general position is as stated in my reply to the Question by my hon. and gallant Friend on 4th December, but I decided to have this particular case further re-examined. This involved a reference to the overseas command and I am not yet in a position to give a decision. I will write to my hon. and gallant Friend as soon as possible.

Captain C. Smith

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has any statement to make on the circumstances in which a man, whose particulars have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Colchester, was arrested at Colchester during November; what charge was made against him; how long he was in custody before trial what sentence has been passed upon him; and what his medical category is.

Mr. Lawson

I regret that I am unable to trace the relevant correspondence in this case. If my hon. and gallant Friend will send the name and regimental particulars of the soldier concerned I will deal with his inquiry as quickly as possible.

Flight-Lieutenant Crawley

asked the Secretary of State for War why Captain H. A. C. Evans, No. 222667, whose father was notified on 31st October of his pending release under the Class B block release scheme for teachers, has still heard nothing about it himself.

Mr. Lawson

Instructions regarding release in this case were sent to S.E.A.C. by air mailon 31st October and I have no knowledge that they are not being observed. A cable has now been sent to S.E.A.C.

Mr. Lipson

asked the Secretary of State for War why a soldier, of whose name he has been informed, who has served since September, 1939, except for a period when he was released for special building repair work from 12th December, 1940, to 29th July, 1942, and who was a master builder for six years before being called up, has not been offered release under Class B.

Mr. Lawson

Instructions are now being given to permit release in Class B in this case.

Mr. Studholme

asked the Secretary of State for War why a soldier, particulars of whom he has been given, was sent to the Far East in August last, although the hon. Member for Tavistock had been informed in writing by his Department on 3rd July that instructions had been issued for the retention of this soldier in this country on compassionate grounds in view of his home circumstances; and whether he will take immediate steps to have this man sent home.

Mr. Lawson

I regret that it has not been possible from the particulars given to trace this case or to identify the correspondence referred to by the hon. Member. If he will be good enough to send me the name and regimental particulars of the soldier concerned I will arrange for an immediate investigation.

Mr. J. McKay

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that 1083006 Bombardier E. George, C Troop, A Battery, R.A. depot, Woolwich, who was born 19th August, 1910, and joined the Army on12th September, 1940, should be in Group 23, but owing to some mistake when he entered the Forces is registered as 10 years younger and is in Group 33; and has this man now been re-grouped in accordance with his real age, evidence of this being indicated on Bombardier George's national service card.

Mr. Lawson

This man's group number was calculated according to the date of birth he declared on enlistment. If a man contests his assessment of age and service group on account of a difference in his date of birth as stated in his documents and his correct date of birth, the case is submitted by his Commanding Officer to the Officer in charge of Records who obtains confirmation from the Ministry of Labour and National Service whether or not correct date of birth was declared on registration. It was not until 15th December that the soldier asked for his date of birth to be amended. The case was submitted by his Commanding Officer for confirmation on the same day. If this is received his age and service group will be re-assessed.

Mr. Zilliacus

asked the Secretary of State for War why 1838329, Gunner J. R. Hunter, has been returned to C Battery, No. 2 Holding. Regiment, R.A., Dodding-ton Park Camp, near Nantwich, Cheshire, in spite of the letter from the hon. Member for Gateshead, dated 26th September, 1945, enclosing a medical certificate testifying to Mrs. Hunter's serious illness and those of 12th October and 20th October marked Urgent, for immediate attention, requesting action in this matter and his Department's reply, of 31st October, saying that inquiries into this case had not been completed.

Mr. Bellenger

The soldier was returned to his unit solely for the purpose of effecting his release, which, I understand, will be completed today.

Mr. McKay

asked the Secretary of State for War (I) if he is aware that Sapper Rawsterne, 2048930, 196 Transportation Stores Company, R.E., C.M.F., who has been in the Army for the whole period of the war with two years abroad, was due on 24th November for his disembarkation leave which has now been withdrawn; and why his disembarkation leave was cancelled;

(2) why Sapper Rawstone, 2048930, 196 Transport Stores Co., R.E., C.M.F., who, in November, was promised leave from Germany but was transferred to Austria, then to Italy, has not yet obtained leave.

Mr. Lawson

I regret the delay in this case. A report called for from the Overseas Command on 3rd December has not yet been received. An urgent reminder was sent on 19th December and 1 hope to be able to write to my hon. Friend very shortly.

Mr. Henry Usborne

asked the Secretary of State for War why has Signalman V. C. Locke not yet received his pension, in spite of the fact that all the necessary forms have been sent in and the original application was made on 12th March,1945.

Mr. Lawson

I regret the delay which has occurred in this case. The pension due has now been awarded with arrears from 12th March last.