HC Deb 23 March 1939 vol 345 cc1432-4
7. Mr. Pilkington

asked the Minister of Labour whether any persons included in the Schedule of Reserved Occupations are being or will be accepted as volunteers for National Service?

Mr. E. Brown

Persons who by virtue of their occupation and age are covered by the Schedule of Reserved Occupations may volunteer for whole-time service in war in any branch of National Service which will enrol them for service in their skilled trade or professional capacity. Alternatively, they may volunteer for part-time service in war in any branch of National Service, on the understanding that in war their normal occupation will have first claim on their services. Many persons covered by the Schedule are, in fact, offering their services in these ways, and it is hoped that many more will do so.

Mr. Pilkington

Can my right hon. Friend take steps to make that answer more widely known than it is at the present moment, especially in banks and industry generally?

Mr. Brown

We are taking vigorous steps to that end.

20. Mr. Garro Jones

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he has made any official or unofficial request to the two associations of newspaper proprietors that they should publish the advertisements calling for voluntary National Service without charge to the Treasury; and, if not, will he make such a request?

The Lord Privy Seal (Sir John Anderson)

No, Sir. The Press have given immense assistance by the editorial space they have devoted to National Service, and I think that it is reasonable to hold that, to secure the necessary emphasis and repetition, part of our publicity campaign should consist of display advertisements paid for in the usual way.

Mr. Garro Jones

Will the right hon. Gentleman say whether or not he has asked the Press to give free the space which is utilised in appealing for voluntary services?

Sir J. Anderson

I have had conferences on the subject with representatives of the Press, and I understand their attitude.

Mr. Garro Jones

May I ask whether or not the right hon. Gentleman has submitted such a request to these Associations?

Sir J. Anderson

Having heard the point of view of the Press, I did not think it reasonable to submit such a proposal.

Mr. Garro Jones

Why does the right hon. Gentleman show such tenderness for the profits of the Press, while he is prepared to receive any amount of voluntary service from poorer people?

29. Mr. Liddall

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, following the precedent of the Great War, he would consider inviting the central offices of the various political parties to appoint a joint committee for the purpose of co-operation in the National Service campaign?

Sir J. Anderson

Under the present National Service campaign actual recruitment and specific recruiting publicity remain a matter for the services for which volunteers are required, while the general co-ordination and stimulation of the campaign have been entrusted to the local National Service committees which have been established throughout the country, and the Central National Service Committee which has recently begun its work. Hon. Members of all parties are readily giving their assistance, and while I appreciate the intention of my hon. Friend's suggestion, I should hesitate to add to the machinery already in existence.

30. Mr. Mander

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, in view of recent events, he has any further announcement to make as to the measures proposed to be taken to further recruitment for National Service?

Sir J. Anderson

Recent events are of themselves helping to reinforce the measures already taken by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour to assist local National Service Committees in the stimulation and intensification of the National Service campaign wherever necessary throughout the country.

Mr. Mander

Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to say whether the pledge given by the Prime Minister, that conscription would not be introduced by this Government in peace time, holds good?

Sir J. Anderson

That is not a matter for me.