32. Mr. TYSON WILSON
asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that the services of a number of men who have passed a trade test and obtained a skilled certificate are not utilised at all on skilled work; and whether, with the object of making the best use of the skill of these men, he can or will issue any order?
§ Mr. FORSTER
Men who have passed trade tests are posted to units in which their technical skill can be utilised so far as such tradesmen are required in the Army. If the number of tradesmen in any particular trade is in excess of the numbers of that trade required in the Army the surplus men are utilised in other ways for which they may be suited. This does not, of course, mean that there will not be at any given moment and in any given unit tradesmen who are not engaged in their trade. The hon. Member will see that it is a matter of progressive adjustment.
§ Mr. A. SMITH
Are there not times when there is an excess of skilled men who have passed a good test and they are put into the combatant forces because 178 there are not sufficient vacancies at the time, without regard to whether or not they may be doing the best of which they are capable?
§ Mr. A. SMITH
My point is that fresh men are put through an inferior test to fill up gaps, instead of using the men who have proved themselves capable by passing a good test?
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a considerable number of skilled men have been taken from work of national importance and put to work where they are possibly losing time; if they had been left doing work of national importance they would have rendered the country a great deal better service than by digging holes and filling them up again?