Skilled Men (Beveridge Committee's Report).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 24th February 1942.

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Mr. Graham White:

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is in a position to give the House any further information as to action already taken, or to be taken, arising from the recommendations of the Beveridge Committee on skilled men in the Services?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

I have nothing to add at present to the statement I made on this subject in the course of the Debate on the Army Estimates last week.

Mr. White:

Having regard to the fact that the Reports have already been under consideration for nearly four months, will my hon. Friend give the House an undertaking that a decision will be reached without further delay?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

I must make it clear to the House that in the case of the vast majority of the recommendations of the Beveridge Committee action has already been taken. There are only two outstanding questions: the question of general service enlistment and the question of the formation of a corps of mechanical engineers. In the first case action has already been taken on as large a scale as is possible in view of limitations of accommodation, and a decision will be taken in the very near future on the second question.

Miss Ward:

Have results come from action?

Mr. White:

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is considerable anxiety on these points, and will he convey to those concerned that in war-time it is very necessary to draw a distinction between time and eternity?

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in the light of the Report of the Beveridge Committee and its criticisms, he will now reconsider the matter of the appointment of an Inspector-General of Man-power, for the purposes there indicated, and to stop the wastage which is the subject of that Report?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the reply given to him on 21st October last.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Will the Minister be good enough to look at the happy, complacent assurances which were given to me, when this matter was raised by me last October; and, in view of the lamentable disclosures in the Report of the Beveridge Committee, will he consider taking action on the lines suggested at that time?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

If my hon. and gallant Friend had been in his place a little earlier, he would have heard what I said about the Report of the Beveridge Committee.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

Is action going to be taken on the lines I suggested last October?