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Low Category Men

Volume 360: debated on Thursday 9 May 1940

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7.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware of the hardship of unemployed young men whose low medical category may involve indefinite delay in their calling up for military service, but who, nevertheless, are refused employment because of their age group; and whether he will take any action in the matter, either by guaranteeing them a long period before being called up, or in some other way, enabling them to assure possible employers that the calling up will be postponed?

Men placed in Grade IV medical category are informed that they will not be called up. Men placed in Grade III will not be called up until further notice, unless they have been so graded on account of defective vision. Men placed in Grade III on account of defective vision may, if they wish, apply to be called up early, and those who do so will be called up before the remainder.

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that it is precisely the men in this category who are in this most difficult position, in that they are not wanted either by the Army or by industry, and in those circumstances will he not ask his right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour to consider this particular difficulty?

Unfortunately it is not possible to see the military situation clearly enough in advance to say what the future of every man in the country shall be.

But could not some guarantee be given that those who are in that low category should not be called up for a year, so that they might be in a position to get a job?

Those who are in Grade III will not be called up until further notice, unless so graded on account of eyesight; but beyond that it is not possible to go.