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Technical Personnel

Volume 416: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1945

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asked the Minister of Labour why men, technically qualified for release in B category as teachers, draughtsmen, building trade workers, police constables, etc., are retained by the War Office if rated as Class A Army tradesmen; what proportion of men who would otherwise be available in B category cannot be released because of this Army rating; and whether he will consider giving unconditional priority to men technically qualified for release under category B, regardless of their rating as tradesmen in the Army, on the ground that the needs of reconstruction should have precedence in peacetime over the plea of military necessity.

I assume that the Question refers to the restriction which it was necessary to impose for a time on the release in Class B of certain tradesmen in the Royal Corps of Signals who could not then be spared from their military duties. I am happy to say that it has now been found possible to remove this restriction. As regards the last part of the Question, military requirements cannot be disregarded, but every effort is made by the Army authorities to release soldiers eligible under Class B, and the retention of such men is in fact quite exceptional.