§ 75. Colonel ASHLEY
asked the Minister of National Service whether, in view of the improved war situation, he will refrain from calling to the Colours time-expired discharged soldiers and sailors above the age of forty-five, so long as they are engaged on work of national importance?
§ The MINISTER of NATIONAL SERVICE (Sir Auckland Geddes)
I regret that my answer to this question was handed in on Wednesday last, and appeared in the OFFICIAL REPORT of that date. I will however, repeat it.
As I informed the hon. and gallant Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme on Thursday, the 17th instant, I am unaware of any ground for relaxing our effort to maintain our forces at full strength. I might, however, refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answers given by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of National Service on 24th June to the hon. Member for Peckham, and on 8th July to the hon. Member for Tavistock.
§ Colonel ASHLEY
May I ask whether he ought not to take into the Army all the people not on work of national importance and who have not served in the Army before he takes men who have served in the Army?
§ Sir A. GEDDES
I think there must be some misunderstanding. The question of a man being left in civil life is determined by his value to the nation in civil life. If men have served in the Army, as 1261 many of those men have, in years gone by, it is not in the national interest that they should be left out if they are doing unimportant work.