asked the Secretary of State for War the purpose of an instruction he has issued restricting or preventing the engagement of additional civilian clerical strength in the outstations of his Department which causes additional military and A.T.S. personnel to be drafted for clerical duties into the same establishments in direct conflict with the principles announced to the House following the report of the Departmental Committee presided over by Lord Cozens-Hardy?
The instruction referred to was issued in view of the present manpower situation. My hon. Friend is under a misapprehension in thinking that the instruction causes additional military and A.T.S. personnel to be drafted to fill vacancies which would otherwise have been filled by civilians: such a course was specifically barred by the instruction.