asked the Secretary of State for War why many women who volunteered for the Auxiliary Territorial Service, gained promotion on merit and have good records, are now being deprived of their non-commissioned rank; and whether he will make a statement?
Owing to the reduced rate of expansion of the A.T.S. some training centres have been closed. The permanent staff of these establishments have therefore had to be posted to other units. War substantive non-commissioned officers can only be reverted in rank if they are inefficient or unsuitable and such noncommissioned officers have therefore had to be sent to posts which were unfilled or filled by non-commissioned officers who were not yet war substantive. This does not mean that the non-commissioned officers who were displaced were not doing their duty efficiently or that their chances of future promotion will be impaired.