HC Deb 12 June 1939 vol 348 cc897-9
56. Mr. Anstruther-Gray

asked the Minister of Labour whether it is intended to bring under the Military Training Act young alien men who have been either born in the United Kingdom or brought here as young children and who are ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom?

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. W. S. Morrison)

I have been asked to reply. The Military Training Act applies only to British subjects. In the case of a British subject who also has another nationality and who notifies his intention to make a declaration of alienage on reaching the age of 21, he will be permitted to postpone his liability for military training until he reaches the age of 22 in order to give him an opportunity of making the declaration

57. Sir John Mellor

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has considered the views expressed by the Committee of the Headmasters Conference with regard to the antedating of militia training in the case of boys who intend to proceed to the universities after October, 1939; and whether he will make a statement upon the subject?

Mr. Morrison

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour has arranged to receive a deputation from the Headmasters Conference on this subject to-morrow.

58. Mr. Kennedy

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has now reached a decision regarding the position of under-graduates at Scottish universities and colleges affected by the Military Training Act; and whether he can give an assurance that there will be no interruption of degree examinations or the students preparatory work?

Mr. Morrison

Undergraduates now at universities or university colleges in Scotland as well as in England and Wales and those who will be entering universities as full time students this autumn will be permitted, if they so desire, to postpone their liability to be called up for military training until the conclusion of their course of study as approved by the university.

Mr. Thorne

Will the same principle apply to apprentices working in ship-yards and other places?

Mr. Morrison

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman would put that question down to my right hon. Friend who is unable to be present to-day.

61. Mr. Robert Gibson

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has now reached a decision on the point relative to postponement in the case of under-graduates who have signed the register of conscientious objectors so as to put such undergraduates on the same footing as those who have signed the military training register; and whether he will make a statement on the subject?

Mr. Morrison

The Military Training Regulations, 1939, provide that an application to a local tribunal by a person who has been provisionally registered in the register of conscientious objectors shall be made within 14 days of the date on which he was so provisionally registered, or within such other period as the Minister may in any particular case for special reasons allow. My right hon. Friend proposes under the power given by these regulations to allow a university under-graduate who has provisionally registered as a conscientious objector to make his application to the local tribunal within a period ending not later than one month after the conclusion of his course of study as approved by the university. Any such undergraduate will be required to obtain annually from the proper university authority a statement that he is a full-time member of the university, and giving the date on which his approved course of study is due to terminate. This will place an undergraduate who is a conscientious objector in the same position in this respect as an undergraduate on the military training register.