121. Major Brace
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that in the early stages of the national emergency volunteers for enlistment in the Royal Navy were informed that there was no entry on a hostilities-only basis, and that enlistment was required for seven years' active service and five years on the naval reserve; that in some instances recruits were informed in addition that opportunities would be provided later for transfers to a hostilities-only basis; and whether he can now receive applications from those affected to be considered for a hostilities-only engagement.
§ Mr. Alexander
Hostilities-only recruits were not accepted for most branches of the Royal Navy until some months after the beginning of the war. All men accepting regular engagements signed a form stating, amongst other things, that they had not been induced to serve by promise of discharge before the end of their engagement. Any contrary suggestions 21W which may have been made to them were entirely unauthorised. The Admiralty intend, however, as soon as conditions permit, to consider applications for transfer to hostilities-only conditions, from men who accepted regular engagements in that period of the war when it was not possible to engage for hostilities only. As regards the last part of the Question, I refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Banbury (Mr. Dodds-Parker) on 10th July.