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Military Service (Students)

Volume 415: debated on Thursday 1 November 1945

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asked the Minister of Labour if he will inquire into the case with a view to release, details of which have been submitted, of an external undergraduate of London University who has studied for ordination in the Church of England since 1937, has achieved intermediate arts examination, was provisionally accepted as an ordinand in the Diocese of Southwark, is awaiting confirmation from the Central Advisory Council of Training for the Ministry, but is now warned that he is liable to be called up and so could not take the final examination for an arts degree next year.

asked the Minister of Education, why the opportunities for the deferment of National Service by degree students of engineering and science are now worse than they were during the war; whether she is aware that in one case the Joint Recruiting Board has indicated that in consequence of the Memorandum of Guidance issued jointly by the Ministries of Education and Labour in May 1945, at least 75 per cent. of the applications received will have to be rejected; and whether she will take steps to rescind or amend these instructions.

I have been asked to reply. It was decided not to increase the total number of first deferments of University students this year, in view of the urgent need of young men for the Forces if demobilisation is not to be slowed down, and it was thought right to reduce the number of engineering and science deferments so as to permit deferment of some Arts students. I am not aware of the particular case referred to, and it is not proposed to amend the existing Memorandum of Guidance.