Skip to main content


Volume 531: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1954

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.


asked the Minister of Labour in what trades or occupations continuing deferments can be obtained from National Service; and what are the general reasons on which decisions are made.

Underground coal-miners, merchant seamen and seagoing fishermen have their call-up deferred for so long as they remain in those occupations. Agricultural workers born before 1933, whose call-up was deferred under the old arrangements in force until 1951 remain indefinitely deferred so long as they stay in agriculture. The need to maintain the labour force of coalmining and the need of keeping merchant seamen at sea are self-evident. There are also a few hundred highly qualified scientists indefinitely deferred for certain special defence projects.

Will the hon. Gentleman tell me in what category racing motorists are deferred or exempted?

As far as I know, racing motorists are not in any special category. They are treated just like anybody else.

Why, then, is the gentleman so often referred to still allowed to be exempt when we cannot get deferment for men with distressed families?

I do not know why we should refer to personal cases, but it is only fair to say that the man referred to has carried out the proper drill. He has been examined by my Department and at the moment is not fit enough to be called up.