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Personal Cases

Volume 416: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether there were special conditions attached to the discharge, on 16th October, 1941, of Gunner J. T. Edwards, 3652429, R.A., now of Southward Road, Haydock, Lancashire; and why this man received £2 2s.10½d. but no civilian outfit of any kind.

There were no special conditions. Under the regulations then in force, discharged soldiers were given the option of receiving a suit, cap, collar and tie or a cash grant of £2 2s. 10½d.

asked the Secretary of State for War why 5674773 Sergeant B. Goldstein, No. 22 Technical Training Group, is not allowed to be employed as a clerk in his Department, as he has served in the Army for six years, took part in the Arnhem lift in September, 1944, was captured and kept as a prisoner of war until May, 1945, his health being seriously affected thereby, and his parents having come to this country over 40 years ago.

The reasons were explained to the hon. and learned Member in a letter dated 31st October.

asked the Secretary of State for War, for how long a captain, who is due for release and whose name and number have been supplied, has been kept under open arrest without summary of evidence and without a formal charge; and what is the explanation of the delay.

This case is at present under investigation, following representations by the hon. Member, who will be informed of the result as soon as possible.

asked the Secretary of State for War how 14385263 Private A. Pullinger, with 22 years' experience in the building trade, was employed at 47th Division battle school; and whether he has now been released to resume building.

As No. 47 Infantry Battle School closed down in October and the staff have been dispersed it would be difficult to answer the first part of the Question; but I understand that Private Pullinger was released from the Army on 17th November.

asked the Secretary of State for War when the application for compassionate release of No. 89012 Captain J. J. Neesham, of 462 H.A.A. Battery, R.A., forwarded to him by the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle Central on 3rd October, 1945, will be dealt with; and, in view of the urgency of this and other cases, what steps he is taking to ensure a more speedy review of all applications for compassionate release.

There was some delay, outside the control of the War Office, in obtaining the necessary reports on this case. Indefinite release has now been approved and instructions issued. I am satisfied that the present organisation deals with compassionate releases as promptly as is possible in the present abnormal circumstances.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether No. 14304863, Sapper S. Patterson, No. 1 Section, 32nd Fortress Company, R.E., granted compassionate release by War Office letter, dated 25th September, 1945, has been released from service with his unit at Gibraltar; and whether he will consider an inquiry as to how such delay has arisen in this case, so that disciplinary action may be taken against those responsible.

This case was not referred to Gibraltar until 7th November, as it was not ascertained earlier that the soldier was now serving overseas. The authority for release was given on the assumption that he was still in the United Kingdom. The delay, which is much regretted, was due to that fact. The overseas command has again been asked by telegram to report, and I will write to my hon. and gallant Friend as early as possible.

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that a R.A.O.C. officer, whose name has been communicated to him, who has held a temporary captaincy for two and a half years continuously and who, when due for release, volunteered for further service and has been posted to India Command, has been compelled to revert to his substantive rank of lieutenant with corresponding loss of pay; and, in view of the existing shortage of officers of this man's experience and ability, will he take steps to ensure that this demotior is rectified.

It has been necessary to refer to India in this case. On receipt of a report I will write to my hon. Friend.