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Personal Cases

Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 13 April 1954

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6.

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will now employ in the survey section of the Royal Engineers 22989597 Sapper J. D. Atkins, about whose experience and qualifications for such employment the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme wrote to him on 8th February.

No, Sir. My hon. Friend in his letters to the hon. Member has explained why this cannot be done.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he has not really explained the position at all? Will he not reconsider this case of this outstanding pupil of surveying who was given a responsible post in the town planning officer's department at Stoke-on-Trent at an early age, and was highly recommended for surveying by the Stoke-on-Trent town planning officer when he went into the Forces? Surely as he is in the Royal Engineers it would be sensible to employ him in the surveying section?

There is keen competition for this branch and this lad had had only 10 months in surveying. He failed the G.C.E. examination in mathematics, and it has to be remembered that we have many candidates with better qualifications than his.

13.

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will now grant a discharge to 23003674 Private H. G. Harrison, about whom the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme wrote to the Under-Secretary of State on 23rd March.

Is the Minister aware that there appears to have been a mistake in calling up this man, who is an underground mine worker, and that I am in touch with the Ministry of Labour about him? Will the Minister give an assurance that, as soon as he receives evidence from the Ministry of Labour and a request for this man's release, he will grant a discharge?

Yes, Sir, but no application has been received so far by the Ministry of Labour. I understood that when this man was called up he was an agricultural labourer.

Does my right hon. Friend welcome or deprecate questions about individual soldiers? Do they render any real service to the soldiers concerned?