asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that unemployed persons over 37 years of age are told that they are not required at the moment in the Forces and at the same time informed that they cannot be given employment because they are liable to be called up being under 41 years of age; and whether he will take steps to remove this anomaly?
No, Sir. The Forces require all the men who have registered under the National Service Acts who can be spared from essential industry, but as the greater need of the Forces is for younger men, I have arranged that men who were 35 or over at the date of registration and who are unemployed or not reserved or deferred in respect of their existing employment shall, if suitable, be considered for transfer to work of national importance in order to release younger men for the Forces. If, however, these older men in question express a preference for service in the Forces they are called up in the ordinary way. All unemployed persons are considered for available employment and there should, therefore, be no question of these men being informed that they cannot be given employment because they are of military age. If, however, my hon. Friend has a particular case in mind I shall be glad to look into it on receiving the necessary particulars.