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Military Service

Volume 416: debated on Thursday 29 November 1945

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Students

52.

asked the Minister of Labour what arrangements his Ministry are making whereby young men of 18 and 19 years of age who, having won bursary scholarships for a university education, can have their call up for military service deferred to enable them to take a degree.

Arrangements have been made for deferment to be granted to a limited number of students of scholarship standard to enable them to take arts courses at universities; I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of a memorandum containing explanatory details. In present circumstances, I am afraid, I cannot agree to any extension of these arrangements.

Is it not a fact that if one of these students who has gained a scholarship is in the Forces he cannot be released unless he has served three years? Is it not rather hard that a boy can be deferred altogether, whereas a man, who happens to be in the Services for six months, has to wait for another two-and-a-half years?

I could not give a definite answer; all I can say is that the principle is that people who have been in the Services should have a preference in coming out to continue their studies as against those who have not been in the Services.

What conditions have been laid down to determine the limit of those who will come within the limited number he has given? What principles determine the selection?

Intake Allocation

56.

asked the Minister of Labour if he will now announce the intake of men into the Services which is planned for the first two quarters of 1946, showing youths of 18 years of age, either in employment or leaving school, separately from those to be recruited from industry; and if he will give the allocation of such intake, as percentages, to the Navy, Army and R.A.F.

In the first six months of 1946 the intake of men into the Forces will be approximately 140,000. Of these it is estimated that 30,000 to 35,00o will be over 18 years of age on joining the Forces and 105,000 to 110,000 will be aged 18 or under. Thirteen per cent. of the intake will be allocated to Royal Navy 55 per cent. to the Army, and 32 per cent. to the R.A.F.

Christmas (Deferred Intake)

70.

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will defer the call-up of the groups due to report on 18th December so as to enable them to spend Christmas at home, especially in view of the fact that little or no training is carried out in the Services over the Christmas period and the railways are overburdened with holidaymakers.

Yes, Sir. At the cost of considerable disorganisation of their reception and training programmes, I have arranged with the Services to defer their intakes so that no man shall be called up in the fortnight 16th to 29th December.