HC Deb 12 April 1976 vol 909 cc400-2W
Mr. Freud

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many officers in each of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force have had their applications for Premature voluntary retirement refused in each year since the scheme was introduced

(2) how many serving officers in each of the Army, Royal Air Force have offered to resign their Commissions;

Royal Navy / Royal Marines Army Royal Air Force
Year (Financial) Total applications (males only) Total applications Applications not approved Total number leaving prematurely Applications not approved
1970–71 234 531 30 307 25
1971–72 130 423 9 220 10
1972–73 144 573 12 287 6
1973–74 220 607 12 276 13
1974–75 204 628 22 396 47
1975–76 182 644 17 419 29

The above figures cover officers leaving the Services under all forms of early release. The Army and RAF figures are not strictly comparable because the latter relate to the numbers who left, as opposed to having their applications approved, in each year. A further breakdown or extension of these figures would involve disproportionate effort.

Mr. Freud

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what are the criteria he uses for accepting or rejecting resignations of commissions from serving officers;

(2) what are the criteria he uses for accepting or rejecting aplications for premature voluntary retirement from serving officers;

(3) if he is satisfied with the practice whereby certain officers who have applied for premature retirement and offered to resign their commission are compelled to continue military service.

Mr. William Rodgers

Applications for early release from serving officers are considered in the light of the current manning situation of the Service concerned and the requirement for a period of productive service as a return for the training that the officer has received. There are detailed variations among the Services in the way these general criteria are applied, and there is sufficient flexibility to enable the rules to be waived or modified in compassionate or other special circumstances. I believe that these rules are fair and that they are being reasonably applied, but I shall be happy to examine any case which the hon. Gentleman may wish to bring to my attention.

and what percentage of these were ordered to remain in the Service, in each of the last six years.

Mr. William Rodgers

The only figures readily available to my Department are as follows: