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Volume 415: debated on Thursday 1 November 1945

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asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that at present the time spent by men in the Army on assisting with the repair of bombed houses for the Ministry of Works in 1940 does not count towards their release group, and whether he will consider issuing instructions that this should be so counted, in view of the service done by these men for the community at the request of the Government, often under trying conditions and away from their homes.

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to the hon. Member for Luton (Mr. Warbey) on 9th October, a copy of which I am sending him.

asked the Minister of Labour if he can now give the release group numbers above Group 49, which will be eligible for Class B release, to continue their university studies in the year beginning October, 1946.

No, Sir. It is too early yet to come to any decision whether such arrangements will be required for the next academic year.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make a statement on the position of men released from the Army to W (T) Reserve for industrial work, in regard to their liability to recall to the Army; whether they may change their employment; and whether they may voluntarily return to the Army, respectively.

As I have already announced, I will make a statement on this matter as soon as possible.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is considering further release schemes from the Forces for fixed periods so that serving personnel can be doing useful civilian work instead of being idle in the Services.

No, Sir. I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War to the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Lipson) on 9th October.

asked the Minister of Labour when it was decided that training with the O.T.C. should not count as whole time service and should not be taken into account when deciding the group for demobilisation purposes; and if he will state the reasons for the decision.

Men training in the Senior Training Corps (to which it is assumed my hon. Friend is referring) had either not yet joined the Forces or were released to the reserve. In neither case was this period in the Senior Training Corps whole time service in the Armed Forces which counted for Service pay, and it is not, therefore, taken into account for release purposes.

asked the Minister of Labour whether training college students whose training has been interrupted by military service are included among the 10,000 students being released from the Forces under Class B.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is satisfied that the present rate of demobilisation is sufficient to enable industry to take full advantage of the opportunities offered in the export markets of the world.

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the manpower shortage in certain essential industries, it is intended to apply a scheme similar to Class B releases from the Armed Forces to conscientious objectors conditionally registered under the National Service Acts, 1939 to 1942.