HC Deb 23 October 1945 vol 414 cc1962-3W
Mr. E. P. Smith

asked the Secretary of State for War to what extent regular officers of His Majesty's Army are being superseded for promotion while at the same time told that they may not retire during this emergency; what precise meaning is attached to this term; how many officers are so affected; and on what general grounds he justifies such action.

Mr. Lawson

About 1,000 regular officers are still being held to serve after being superseded for substantive promotion. The term "superseded" is applied to officers who have been passed over for substantive promotion to the rank of lieutenant-colonel or above. An officer who has been superseded is no longer considered for substantive promotion in the Regular Army. It must be realised that regular officers who are superseded for substantive promotion are not thereby debarred in any way from getting further temporary promotion. Temporary promotion entitles a regular officer to a proportion of the benefits of substantive promotion, the proportion increasing with the time that the rank is held. All officers who are superseded for promotion are informed that they will not be retired, but will be required to serve on so long as their services are needed during the emergency.

The term "will not be retired" does not prevent an officer from making an application to be allowed to retire. Applications are considered sympathetically at the War Office provided that they are made on grounds that would be accepted for a Class B or Class C release under the demobilisation scheme.

The retention of these officers during the emergency is provided for in Article 213 of the Royal Warrant for the Pay, etc., of the Army, 1940, and is necessary because of the present acute shortage of officers.