HC Deb 04 June 1946 vol 423 cc290-3W
90. Mr. G. Brown

asked the Secretary of State for War the reason for the delay in returning to this country 14777339 Fusilier Smedley, whose Class B release was authorised on 26th February.

Mr. Lawson

I have received a report from overseas to the effect that arrangements for the release of this soldier are proceeding, but I understand that he is serving in Japan and this has no doubt led to some delay in bringing him home for release.

102. Mr. Turton

asked the Secretary of State for War when he will be in a position to reply to the letter dated 4th February, 1946, the receipt of which he acknowledged on 6th February, 1946, from the hon. Member for Thirsk and Mahon, relating to the case of 10582922 Craftsman R. S. Armstrong; whether he has yet considered the letter from the same hon. Member dated 22nd April, 1946, receipt of which has not yet been acknowledged; and whether he will expedite his methods of dealing with correspondence.

Mr. Lawson

A reply was sent to the lion Member on 31st May; his letter of 22nd April was acknowledged on 23rd April. I regret the delay in replying to the hon. Member's original letter of 4th February, but I can assure him that I am making every possible effort to ensure that letters from hon. Members are dealt with expeditiously.

105. Mr. Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is prepared to order a new and independent inquiry to be made into the case of 1490445, Sergeant J. Evanson, R.E.M.E., with a view to investigating allegations that this noncommissioned officer was victimised by his superior officers for the assistance which he gave to the Special Investigation Branch concerning misconduct and irregularities at the Command Vehicle Park, Ince Blundell, Liverpool, as the result of which information disciplinary action is believed to have been taken against a number of officers and officials; and what is the reason for the delay in replying to the hon. Member for Wirral's letter, dated 5th January, 1946, on this subject.

Mr. Lawson

The various complaints made by Sergeant Evanson have already been fully investigated and these investigations culminated in a personal interview with the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of his command. At this interview, which lasted 1¼ hours, Sergeant Evanson was given every opportunity for putting forward his grievances and of discussing them in detail. In these circumstances I do not consider that there are any grounds to justify making further investigations into this case, I very much regret that owing to an oversight a reply was not sent to the hon. Member's letter of 5th January.

110. Mr. Driberg

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will expedite the Class B release of 14847080 Private Taylor, J. K., 10 Platoon, D. Company, 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, M.E.F., which has been under consideration for nearly four months and was approved one month ago, in view of the fact that Private Taylor had, as recently as 20th May, received no notification that he was to be released; whether he will take steps to shorten the period between the approval and the actual granting of Class B release of men whose services are urgently needed in industry; and if he will state the average length of this period.

Mr. Lawson

A request for the release of this man under Class B was not received by the War Office until 25th April. On the following day authority was given for an offer of release to be made to him. I am taking steps to find out what action has been taken by the authorities in the Middle East. I regret that I cannot give any average period for carrying out a Class B release as the time taken naturally varies greatly according to where the man concerned happens to be stationed and the transport facilities which happen to be available there. Instructions are already in force for Class B releases to be dealt with as rapidly as possible.

115. Mr. Collins

asked the Secretary of State for War if he has now investigated the case of 5666900 Gunner T. R. Heal, R.A., details of which were supplied by the hon. Member for Taunton; and, if so, with what result.

Mr. Lawson

I have not yet completed my investigations into this case. I can assure my hon. Friend that careful consideration will be given to the representations he has made on behalf of Gunner Heal and that I will write to him as soon as possible.

116. Flight-Lieutenant Parkin

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will arrange for the payment of war gratuity to D. 37793 Private W. H. Jemmett, who was demobilised last year.

Mr. Lawson

I regret that I have been unable to trace this soldier from the particulars given; the Regimental number mentioned in the Question is an old one applicable to the former Home Defence Battalions. If my hon. and gallant Friend will send me the man's latest Army number and the last Regiment in which he served I will gladly investigate the case.

127. Colonel Stoddart-Scott

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that Captain G. W. Waite, 172824 52 L.A.A. Regiment, R.A. C.M.F., and Lieutenant J. P. Ombler, 233527 1st H.A. A. Regiment, R.A.., both joined the Territorial Army before the war, were mobilised before the commencement of hostilities and now after 6¾ years of service at home and abroad have had their demobilisation deferred; and if he will issue instructions that no man who has served continuously throughout the whole of the war shall have his demobilisation deferred.

Mr. Lawson

I cannot guarantee that a man who has served continuously throughout the war will not have his release deferred, as the governing factor must he military necessity. I am, however, inquiring into the two specific cases mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member.

128. Mr. Wilkes

asked the Secretary of State for War what decision has been reached in the case of 4271391 Fusilier L. Brown, particulars of which were sent to him by the hon. Member for Newcastle, Central, on 6th March and r6th April last.

Mr. Lawson

I regret that my inquiries into this case are not yet completed. I have taken steps to obtain a full report on the case from the overseas Command concerned and as soon as I have received and considered this I will write to my hon. Friend.