HC Deb 09 October 1945 vol 414 c59W
Mr. Martin

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the many cases of a compassionate nature on which Members of Parliament are unable to make effective representation to him owing to the soldier in question being posted overseas, he will take an early opportunity of recalling those delegated powers to the War Office; and resume, now that hostilities are over, his constitutional function in relation to them.

Mr. Lawson

No, Sir. I think that the present system is the best and most speedy in present circumstances. As hon. Members know, general directions about priorities have been issued by the War Office. In practice these are adhered to very closely; but local considerations cannot be ruled out altogether, and I am afraid that centralisation would merely tend to make for delay in many cases.

Sir J. Mellor

asked the Secretary of State for War whether compassionate posting will now be considered upon business grounds.

Mr. Lawson

The difficulties of compassionate posting have, I understand, already been explained in detail to the hon. Member by my predecessor. They apply with even greater force at the present time owing to the considerable regrouping and disbandment of units which is now taking place. On the other hand, the ability of the Department to grant compassionate releases has increased, and it has been found possible to relax the regulations governing release in the case of one-man businesses. I am satisfied that the practice of granting release, which may now be for an indefinite as well as for a definite period, is the fairer system, and should continue.