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Volume 462: debated on Tuesday 1 March 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that a company sergeant-major with 13 years' service, including service in Palestine, Dunkirk and Germany, in response to his Department's appeal, volunteered to rejoin his unit, but was offered only the lowest rank, as indicated by the correspondence sent to him; and whether he will encourage ex-warrant officers and non-commissioned officers to rejoin their units by offering refresher courses, with a view to posting them as permanent staff instructors to the Territorial Army and thus releasing younger men, now occupying those posts, to the Regular Army.

Re-enlistment is subject to a man being up to entry standards and to the current manpower requirements; in fairness to others the period of absence from the Colours is also taken into account. A scheme already exists by which certain former warrant officers and non-commissioned officers may be granted a four-year engagement in the Regular Army as permanent staff instructors for Royal Artillery units of the Territorial Army. This scheme is being extended to the Royal Corps of Signals, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and Women's Royal Army Corps. I am looking into the particular case referred to by the hon. Member and will write to him.