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Volume 414: debated on Thursday 25 October 1945

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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.