HC Deb 23 March 1938 vol 333 c1196
46. Mr. Sandys

asked the Prime Minister whether, in order to facilitate the immediate mobilisation of the services of the entire nation upon the outbreak of a war, it is his intention to introduce a system of universal national registration, the purpose of which would be to allocate in advance the duties, whether military or civilian, which each individual according to his or her age, sex, physique, and qualifications would, in the event of war, be called upon to perform?

The Prime Minister

A scheme for compulsory national registration in time of war, if the Government of the day should so decide, has been in existence for some years. Proposals for compulsory registration in peace time have also been considered, but on balance the advantages to be derived therefrom have been found to be outweighed by the difficulties and opposition which would have to be surmounted.

Mr. Bellenger

Can the Prime Minister say whether any machinery exists in the Government Departments for putting into operation immediately at the outbreak of war a system such as this?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Mander

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that there will be the strongest opposition to anything of the kind, unless we have, as we can have, a united national foreign policy?

Mr. De la Bère

Will the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, East (Mr. Mander) do something for national unity?

Sir William Davison

Cannot we have collective registration?

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