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Volume 414: debated on Thursday 25 October 1945

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Prospective Nursing Trainees


asked the Minister of Labour in view of the shortage of nurses, if he will now consider granting immediate release to young women in the Forces who are willing to train for the nursing profession.

Yes, Sir. Arrangements are being made under which women who are willing and suitable to be trained for the nursing profession may be released from the Forces in Class B.

Will the hon. Gentleman inform the various institutions throughout the country of this decision, because it is a very serious matter to many of them?

Do the hospitals or the Minister of Health have to make application for the release, under Class B, of these nurses in the Services?

The procedure will be that the various Commands will be asked to invite volunteers for release under Class B who are prepared to go into training. Neither local authorities nor hospitals figure in the picture.

Science Students


asked the Minister of Labour whether he is satisfied that a small number of university students reading natural science, who are to be released under his present arrangements, will be sufficient to meet the demands for extended research and technological development in this country during the next few years; and whether he will consider increasing, at an early opportunity, the number of science students who can be released under special arrangements

I hope that releases from the Forces and from civilian employment, together with the fresh entrants for whom deferment has been agreed, will fill the available places at the universities. Recognising the urgent need for more trained scientists, my right hon. Friend has under constant review the possibilities of increasing the supply without prejudicing the general scheme of demobilisation.

Will the hon. Gentleman consider revising the circular issued by his Department last May regarding the deferment of students? For example, in the Wigan Mining and Technical College, only six out of 24 students have been deferred, and there is great feeling about this.

"Man-Power Budget"


asked the Minister of Labour if he will publish the derails of the "Man-power Budget" prepared before the recent decision was taken with regard to the number of men to be released from the Forces by June, 1946.

The numbers to be released from the Forces by June, 1946, were determined by reference to military requirements and transport facilities. The expansion required in the home civilian and export industries and services following the end of the Japanese war is so large that it was not necessary to draw up a detailed "Man-power Budget" for this purpose.



asked the Minister of Labour how many teachers have been released from each of the services to date under Class B; and how many more it is estimated will be released by the end of the present year.


asked the Minister of Labour how many primary and secondary teachers, respectively, have now applied for their release under Class B, or had it applied for by their employers; and how many have actually been released.

School teachers are selected for the offer of Class B release by reference to the Service records of pre-enlistment occupation and not by application from the teachers themselves or their employers. The number of school teachers released in Class B by the end of September was 1,046, of whom approximately 600 were released during the second half of that month.

For the three Services the figures are:

Royal Navy and W.R.N.S.96
Army and A.T.S255
Royal Air Force and W.A.A.F695

The present programme provides for the release of up to 10,000 school teachers in Class B. The Services are dealing with these releases as quickly as possible, but no estimate can be given of the number of teachers who will be released by the end of the year.

Will the hon. Gentleman say whether, on the basis of his experience, he knows of any ground of complaint that teachers of other ranks, who have for the most part been teachers in primary schools, are being released more rapidly than officers, who for the most part have been teachers in secondary schools?

I have not discovered any grounds for that conclusion. Our experience so far is limited.

Can the hon. Gentleman give the figures for which I asked in my Question, distinguishing between the figures for primary and the secondary teachers?

Will the hon. Gentleman give an assurance that while these Class B releases are being investigated the men themselves will not be posted overseas, as that has happened?

I am not in a position to give an assurance, but I will certainly take that matter up and try to avoid any undue travel.


asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that 14933769 S. I. Swann, A.E.C., of No. 1 P.D.C., Oswestry, whose Class B release was applied for by the Dorset County Education Authority on 8th October and details of whom were sent to his Department on 11th October, has now been placed under orders to proceed to India to teach English to the Indians; and whether, in view of the shortage of teachers in this country, he will arrange that this man shall not be sent to India and shall be released under Class B.

I am making inquiries and will communicate with the hon. and gallant Member.

Can we have an assurance in regard to the last part of the Question, that the man will not be despatched to India, as he is due to end his embarkation leave within three days? It is a matter of urgency upon which I should like a reply.

I do not happen to control the Armed Forces, but I will certainly draw the attention of the Service chiefs to the point raised in the Question and we will take such steps as are open to us.

Will the hon. Gentleman make this matter one of urgency? I have sent half-a-dozen names to the Secretary of State for War with little result.

Agricultural Workers


asked the Minister of Labour whether agricultural workers are being, or will be, released from the Services in Class B; and, in this conection, whether he will bear in mind the desirability of offering immediate release to occupiers of agricultural smallholdings and estate carpenters and masons

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to my right hon. Friend's reply of 9th October to the hon. Member for Hallam (Mr. Jennings), a copy of which I am sending him.

Does not the Minister agree that in view of the need for maximum production, and the very much greater contribution these men can make in their own jobs, there is a strong case for a very rapid rate of release in these categories under Class B?

As long as the rate of release under Class B does not interfere with our general demobilisation rate, we do not mind how quickly they come.