48. Major Lloyd
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the growing conviction in the country that the time has now come for the further extension of the National Service Act to all males from 18 to 55 years of age, in order that their services may be immediately available for home defence; and whether he will take steps at an early date to satisfy public opinion in this matter?
§ Mr. Attlee
The age limits under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act are 18 to 40 inclusive. In addition, men may volunteer for service in the Home Defence Battalions and the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps up to the age of 50 and in the Local Defence Volunteers, which is a very important part of the home defence arrangements, up to the age of 65. In view of the opportunities offered of home defence service in these Corps, it is not at present considered necessary to extend the application of the National Service (Armed Forces) Act as suggested in the Question.