HC Deb 23 October 1945 vol 414 cc1961-2W
Mr. Channon

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the disappointment which has been caused by the fact that men of Group 17 have not yet been arriving from the Far East despite the announcement that they would be in the United Kingdom by the middle of October; and when it is expected that men of this group will reach England from the Far East.

Mr. Lawson

The homeward lift from India has greatly improved in recent weeks, and very considerable numbers of soldiers have recently arrived or are on their way home for Class A release. While I cannot give a definite assurance on the point, it is fairly safe to assume that the men in Group 17 are by now cleared from the Far East except for a few unavoidably delayed through sickness or other temporary causes.

Wing-Commander Millington

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will give an assurance that men who were transferred to the Army after years of service in the R.N., will be released when their appropriate group in the R.N. is released, even when that is earlier than the corresponding group in the Army.

Mr. Lawson

No, Sir. Such an arrangement could not be justified and it does not follow that it would always operate to the advantage of the soldiers concerned.

Lieut.-Colonel Thorp

asked the Secretary of State for War to what extent it is estimated that the use of troops to unload ships will delay demobilisation in the Army.

Mr. Lawson

The operation of the release scheme is not affected by the work in question.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware of the complaints made by young soldiers who are registered dental students, having begun their university course before call-up; whether it is intended to release such men to complete their studies, particularly in view of the fact that young students now at the university are allowed to continue their studies.

Mr. Lawson

It has recently been agreed that the provisions for the release in Class B of certain students will be extended to include a limited number of dental students. The conditions of release are:

  1. (a) that individuals must be recommended to the Ministry of Labour and National Service by their universities or schools.
  2. (b) They must be in release groups 1 to 49.
  3. (c) They must have given up the reservation to which they were entitled, in order to join the Forces or must have joined the Forces before the present conditions of reservation were in operation, but would have been reserved if these conditions had been in force.