Demobilisation (Rate of Release)

Oral Answers to Questions — Armed Forces – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 1946.

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Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs 12:00 am, 27th November 1946

asked the Minister without Portfolio if he is aware of the discontent in the Army due to soldiers being demobilised later than sailors and airmen of the same group; and what steps he is taking to equalise length of service in all three Forces.

Photo of Mr Arthur Champion Mr Arthur Champion , Derbyshire Southern

asked the Minister without Portfolio if he is aware of the dissatisfaction existing in the Army over the rate of release as compared with that of the R.N.; and if he will consider making the necessary arrangements to secure a transfer of personnel from one part of the Armed Forces to the others in order to even up the release of the groups as between the R.N., the Army and the R.A.F.

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

I have been asked to reply. I would refer my hon. Friends to the statement made yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

Can my right hon. Friend say whether every step has been taken to examine the possibilities, not of transfer of personnel as between the Services, but of transfer of duties?

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

I think that my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave a very full answer to that supplementary question yesterday. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Well, it is all bound up with the transfer of personnel.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

No, transfer of duties.

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan , Cardiff South

While I agree heartily with the Prime Minister's state- ment that it is quite clear that rates of release could not be the same for all three Services, was it ever envisaged that the difference should be between five years for a man in the Army and two years for a man in the Navy?

Photo of Mr Frederick Bellenger Mr Frederick Bellenger , Bassetlaw

I do not think that is presenting the case quite fairly. If my hon. Friend will refer to the statement made on 6th November by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour, he will see that his supplementary question is very far from right.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Maldon

Will my right hon. Friend look at it again?