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Middle East Forces

Volume 413: debated on Friday 24 August 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War what steps are being taken to ensure that the strength in British officers and N.C.O.s of the British military administration of occupied Italian territories in the Middle East is being maintained up to full establishment, without compelling personnel to remain overseas, against their will, beyond the normal periods of service in the Middle East.

The only personnel who are compulsorily retained in the Middle East beyond the normal period of service are those whose retention is considered by the Commander-in-Chief to be absolutely essential, or for whom it is essential to await specialised replacements. Ordinarily, men are returned as and when they become qualified, subject to transport facilities, without awaiting replacements. Incidentally, the replacement drafts for Python personnel are supplied as a matter of very high priority.