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Volume 416: debated on Thursday 29 November 1945

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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?