asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether 40 dis- abled soldiers were discharged from the Government Small Arms Factory, Enfield, owing to the resumption of full time and to their inability to follow full-time employment through wounds and disease received during the War; whether the Chief Inspector issued a notice to the effect that dismissals would affect men in Category IV, that is, disabled soldiers; and whether he can state where and in what position these men are now?
Yes, Sir. Forty disabled soldiers have recently been discharged from the Department of the Chief Inspector of Small Arms, after the notice indicated in the question had been given. This action was due not to the inability of the men to follow full-time employment, but to the necessity of reducing staff consequent on the reversion to the normal system of full-time work. That system was reverted to after very full consideration, and in the general interest of the Departments concerned and of the public service. Had the disabled men not been discharged, it would have been necessary to discharge pre-War employés, a course which would have been neither equitable nor consistent with the essential requirements of economy and efficiency.