asked the Minister for Defence if he will state how many temporary clerks have been given notice to leave from the Dependents' Allowance Section of the Army Finance Office between June 17th and June 30th, and whether, in view of the congestion existing in the Claims Branch of the Office, he will consider their transfer to enable that branch to dispose of its business more expeditiously.

Owing to the reduction of work, twenty-nine temporary clerks were discharged from the Dependents' Allowance Section between the 17th and the 30th June.

It is not considered that the transfer of these clerks to the Claims Branch of the Department would expedite the clearance of work in that Branch. Any delay in dealing with outstanding claims is due to difficulties experienced in having claims certified locally, and not to shortage of staff in the Branch itself.

Arising out of that answer, can the Parliamentary Secretary say whether these temporary clerks who have been discharged will be given a preference, if it is necessary to have additional help, as they know the work of that Department?

I have no doubt that they would be given a preference in that event.