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National Service (Call-Up)

Volume 480: debated on Tuesday 14 November 1950

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asked the Minister of Labour the total number of men born prior to 1st January, 1929, who were liable to be called up for service under the National Service Act, 1947; the number in this age category who were actually called up; and the number whose call-up was deferred and who have not yet undergone any training.

Under the National Service Act, 1947, as consolidated in the National Service Act, 1948, liability for call-up was limited on or after 1st January, 1949, except for registered medical practitioners and dentists, to men between the ages of 18 and 26 other than those who had served in the Forces before the end of 1946 and those who were called-up or received commissions in 1947 and 1948 and performed a period of whole-time service equivalent to that which would have been required of them under the 1948 Act.As statistics of the numbers called-up by age classes are not available for years earlier than 1947, it is not possible to say how many men born before 1st January, 1929, were still liable for call-up on 1st January, 1949. It was, however, announced in May, 1946, in the White Paper on Call-Up to the Forces in 1947 and 1948 (Cmd. 6831), that, as from 1st January, 1947, call-up would, subject to certain exceptions, be limited to men born in 1929 or later. The number of men between the ages of 18 and 26 at that date so excluded from the call-up field is estimated at 400,000, two-thirds of whom were in coalmining, agriculture and the shipping and building industries. The majority of the remainder were key men in the engineering and metal industries. The number of men born before 1st January, 1929, called-up during 1947 and 1948 and on or after 1st January, 1949, are 52,100, 3,300 and 2,150, respectively.