asked the Secretary of State for War how many officers have been discharged as over age under the recent Army Council Instruction; and whether such instruction was differently interpreted by those responsible for carrying out the order?
The number of officers who, on account of advancing age or for various other reasons, have been reverted to unemployment under Army Council Instruction 422 of 1942, to which I assume my hon. Friend refers, is 1,504. All such cases have been examined at the War Office prior to the confirmation of the decision. Whilst absolute uniformity in such matters is impossible, this safe guard has, I think, ensured the application of a reasonably uniform standard.
Is my right hon. Friend aware, from the figures that I have supplied, as well as from many others, that there is the very widest difference in the interpretations of this Army Order by those who have to work it?
Is my right hon. Friend aware that in one case an officer who reverted to unemployment was told that there was no reflection on his integrity or his efficiency? Why was he dismissed?