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Recruitment (National Service)

Volume 531: debated on Wednesday 27 October 1954

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20.

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he will dispense with compulsory National Service for naval recruitment.

In view of the comparatively small number of National Service men who are posted to the Royal Navy by the Ministry of Labour and National Service, is not it possible to have at least one branch of the Armed Services based entirely upon voluntary recruitment; and would not it be a very good thing for morale, too? In any event, why has not the Navy tried out the system of short-term engagements, which would probably enable the voluntary principle to he fully implemented?

National Service men are essential to the Royal Navy at the moment. They have an extremely good reputation in the Navy and in the Fleet Air Arm. They do an extremely good job.