asked the Secretary for Scotland whether the Government has decided to treat applications for small holdings from ex-service men received after 1st March, 1921, as in the same category as others; if so, when this decision was reached, and when and in what manner it was brought to the notice of possible ex-service applicants; whether he is aware that many ex-service men have delayed their applications under the impression that there was no need for haste in view of the fact that thousands of their comrades who have made their applications three or four years ago have not yet gat holdings and whether he will suspend the,decision until all possible ex-service applicants have had adequate notice of it?
The reply to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The decision of the Government on the subject was reached in January last, and was intimated by notice in the Press on the 13th of that month. With regard to the remainder of the question, my right hon. Friend is not aware that the position is as stated by my hon. and gallant Friend, and he cannot- undertake that the decision will be suspended?
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many ex-soldiers have just left hospital and that they will be deprived of the benefits of this particular Act?
No, they will not be deprived of the benefits entirely. They will certainly lose their advantages under the Regulations as drawn on 1st March, but they can still tender an application.
But is it not a matter of fact that they will not be considered as ex-service men if they apply now, and that they will be deprived of the benefit of ex-service men merely because they have been in hospital?
That is just what I have endeavoured to say.
A land fit for heroes!