asked the Assistant Postmaster-General, why he refuses to sponsor applications on behalf of sub-postmasters for release on the grounds of national interest; and whether steps will be taken to assimilate the practice in these cases to that of other Departments.
I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the arrangements under which individual specialists may, on certain conditions, be released from the Forces in Class B. These conditions, which are laid down by the Ministry of Labour and National Service, and apply to all Departments, do not permit me to sponsor applications for the release of a Sub-Postmaster whose early return to civil employment is not vital in the national interest. I am not aware that Post Office practice in regard to Class B releases differs from that of other Government Departments.