70. Mr. I. O. Thomas
asked the Secretary of State for War why he is effecting the compulsory discharge solely on grounds of age, of civilian staff employed at New Donnington Central Ordnance Depot, Shropshire; if he is aware that such staff removed their homes from London at the commencement of the war, on instructions, to meet the country's requirements and will now have little chance of securing alternative employment in or near the New Donnington area; and if he will suspend the operation 189W of this policy for reconsideration in view of the widespread distress and hardship it will inevitably cause.
§ Mr. Head
It is not my Department's policy automatically to discharge staff at the age of 65 or any other age; but all staff are reviewed periodically after reaching the age of 60, and specially at 65, with a view to the retention only of those who are fully efficient. At this particular depot, out of a total of 29 who are over 65, only three are being discharged as no longer up to the mark. Of these three, only one moved with the depot from London during the war. I cannot therefore agree that widespread distress and hardship has been caused.