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Royal Army Medical Corps

Volume 411: debated on Tuesday 29 May 1945

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44.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can now announce demobilisation plans for officers and men in the R.A.M.C.; and if they will be treated in the same way as officers and men in other branches of the Service.

The ordinary release Regulations will apply to the R.A.M.C. as to the rest of the Army. I do not anticipate that the "military necessity" clause will be frequently applied to other ranks and general duty officers. It will probably have to be applied to specialist officers much more freely in view of the over-all shortage of such officers and of the difficulty of obtaining from civil life replacements which are likely to be necessary.

Is not the Minister aware that there is a great shortage of doctors in many parts of the country? Will he bear that fact in mind in making his plans?

Quite a considerable number of doctors are due to be released under the ordinary working of the scheme.

If medical officers are to be released under Class B as being essential for civilian needs, will the right hon. Gentleman make sure that their rights as regards 56 days' leave are safeguarded? Otherwise a good many of those who are released for urgent civilian needs will lose a corresponding amount of pay.

My difficulty is not of releasing doctors under Class B but of releasing those whose turn comes under Class A.

Is it not the case that a considerable number of applications is being made for the return at an earlier date of those who are due to be demobilised, because in certain areas the civilian need is very acute? If that is so, will the Minister not have regard to the suggestion which I have made to him?

I think that the need of the civil population for doctors is much more likely to be met under Class A than Class B. It is a new idea to me that it will be necessary to have recourse to Class B for doctors.