HC Deb 29 October 1946 vol 428 cc71-2W
84. Brigadier Low

asked the Secretary of State for War on what grounds certain wireless mechanics and clerks in R.E.M.E. units stationed in the United Kingdom, whose age and service groups are 40 and above, have received orders deferring their release for a period of three months; and what steps have been taken to insure that any shortage of these specialists is made up as quickly as possible.

Mr. Bellenger

In certain specialist trades in R.E.M.E. the run down from release is disproportionately large because of the large number of men with similar age and service. To meet the deficiency we have re-organised the training programme for replacements, cutting it by two to three months. There is still, however, a gap which can only be filled by the retention of some men under the Military Necessity Clause, which was inserted in the release scheme for just such a purpose Some R.E.M.E. clerks are similarly having to be retained until their replacements gain sufficient experience to be able to do their work efficiently.

88. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Secretary of State for War how many men serving with the Royal Signals in Greece have had their release deferred; and what action he is taking to reduce this number.

Mr. Bellenger

Separate figures for Greece are not readily available, but on 15th October, the total numbers of Royal Signals personnel compulsorily retained under the Military Necessity Clause throughout the Middle East amounted to 37 officers and eight other ranks. The officers will be released as soon as reinforcements arrive, and will not in any case be retained for more than three months. The other ranks are all specialists whose replacements are being trained in the United Kingdom as quickly as possible. Middle East has the highest priority for Royal Signals reinforcements.