HC Deb 18 June 1940 vol 362 cc11-2
18. Captain Plugge

asked the Secretary of State for War why, though equipment cannot be immediately provided, numbers of the younger men who have been registered but not called up, are not summoned to the Colours and trained even in civilian costume, so that when full equipment is obtainable they will be ready for all emergencies?

28. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in the present emergency, he has considered accelerating the calling up of the remaining classes of men for military service?

Mr. Eden

My hon. Friends can be assured that it is the determination of His Majesty's Government to make the maximum use of the man-power of the nation. With this end in view, the intake has been greatly accelerated, and in the last five weeks more men have been taken than during the first four months of the year. As regards the Government's general policy on this question, I would ask my hon. Friends to await the statement which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is to make at the end of Questions.

Mr. Stewart

Can my right hon. Friend give an immediate assurance to the House that the thousands of men of 23 and upwards who have registered, but who have been waiting for months to be called up, will quickly be called up, otherwise the frustration and exasperation of the people will be unbearable?

Mr. Eden

My hon. Friend cannot be more anxious to see the defences of this country strengthened than I am, and to bring about that result a number of steps are being taken, and the increasing of man-power has its place among them.