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Volume 415: debated on Tuesday 30 October 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in order to avoid the hardship imposed upon officers by the postponement of their release from the Army, he will take steps to arrange for a quicker system of promotion of N.C.O.s and warrant officers who are of higher release groups and are suitable for immediate commissioning into specialist posts.

:The system already in force allows any individual of whatever rank, if recommended by his commanding officer and by a War Office Selection Board, to be granted an immediate emergency commission, with only a short period of special training carried out after commissioning has been effected. In certain cases this special training can be omitted. The importance of recommending any likely candidates for commissions has frequently been brought to the notice of allcommanding officers. Between 1st September, 1939, and the end of September, 1945, 25,857 immediate commissions were granted from the ranks.

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of officers in the Army who have applied for permanent commissions; the number given to date; and how many will be available in the reorganised Army.

So far, 6,896 officers have applied for Regular commissions; of these, 2,206 have been approved and already gazetted or await gazette action. I cannot yet say what vacancies will be available in the post-war Army, but more Regular officers are still needed and recruitment continues.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, because of the shortage of officers and inorder to prevent a further delay in demobilisation, he is prepared to consider giving immediate commissions from the ranks.

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply given to-day to the hon. and gallant Member for South Blackpool (Wing Commander R. Robinson).