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Ex-Service Men

Volume 148: debated on Tuesday 8 November 1921

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Icdia Office (Legal Advices Department)


asked the Secretary of State for India if a Mr. H. A. Painter, a non-service man, was engaged by the India Office Legal Advices Department in September last at a salary of £200, rising to £250 per annum; if at the time of his engagement by the India Office he was in other employment; why no notification of the vacancy was posted on the staff side notice board in accordance with the promise given at the Departmental Whitley Council, and in consequence no member of the staff knew of, or had the opportunity of applying for, the vacancy; if he is aware of the fact that suitable unemployed candidates are available from ex-service men's associations; and what action he purposes taking in this matter?

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Chelsea on 2nd November. I believe it is the case that Mr. Painter was in employment up to the date of his appointment to the India Office. The arrangement for notifying vacancies was meant for posts tenable by persons already members of the India Office Establishment, but the special object of this appointment was to obtain a man with outside experience of a special kind. I do not know what action the hon. and gallant Member contemplates.

I am particularly anxious, in making appointments in my Department, to consider the claims of ex-service men. If there is any feeling that anything prejudicial to their interest has been done I shall be glad to receive a deputation.

Small Holdings, Scotland


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?

Mental Treatment Institutions


asked the Minister of Pensions the total number of lunatic asylums approved of by the Ministry of Pensions for ex-service men and the number of such approved institutions which are run for private gain?

Approximately 240 institutions are under the control of, or have been approved by, the Board of Control and the Ministry, and of these more than 60 are private establishments.

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell me, without notice, how many institutions there are other than pauper asylums and private licensed asylums approved of by his Department?

Government Departments (Dismissal Notices)


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many disabled ex-service men are under notice of dismissal in each of the various Government Departments?

The number of disabled men who are at present under notice of discharge from Government Departments in London is, as far as can be ascertained, 126. This figure does not include those engaged in an industrial or manipulative capacity, in respect of whom information is not immediately available. With the permission of the hon. Member, I will circulate details in the OFFICIAL REPORT. Except where the employment is of a casual character, the cases of these men are still under consideration, as a result of which a considerable proportion of them will certainly be found employment in other branches of the Departments in which they are engaged. In addition a smaller number of disabled men have received warning that one month after the date on which the warning was given they are liable to receive one month's notice of discharge. The same observations apply to these cases.

Will the hon. Gentleman promise to do what he can for these unfortunate men? Will he cancel all notices of dismissal of disabled ex-service men while there are any non-service men and women being employed on the same work in the same Department?

It is impossible, consistently with the smooth and efficient working of the process of substitution, to give the undertaking to which my hon. Friend refers. He may rest assured that the special claim of disabled men is a matter of considerable concern to the Government.

May I ask whether the discharge of these 126 disabled ex-service men is one of the first-fruits of the application of the. Anti-waste League?

The following are the details promised by Mr. Young:

War Office11
Post Office9
India Office9
Food Department8
Ministry of Labour6
Department of Overseas Trade6
Disposal and Liquidation Commission5
Air Ministry4
Ministry of Agriculture3
Department of Inland Revenue3


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that, in Block C of the Disposal Board, 25 ex-service men and a war widow have received notice of dismissal, while 13 men and women without war service are being retained; and will he inquire into the matter?

I have made inquiry into this matter, and have ascertained that of the 13 non-service personnel referred to, three are being substituted by ex-service men, four are permanent civil servants, and the remaining six are juniors, engaged on elementary work, whose retention has recently been agreed to by the Departmental Substitution Committee, which includes the ex-service men's representative.