§ 9. Mr. Sorensen
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the memorandum to hardship committees re- 541 specting maximum postponement of military service due to business responsibilities has been interpreted as only permitting the period of postponement to be both maximum and final for one year; and, in view of the considerable apprehension this has aroused, whether he will clarify the position and indicate if it will still be possible to appeal for a further period of postponement at the end of the 12 months allowed?
§ Mr. E. Brown
Under the National Service (Armed Forces) (Postponement Certificates) Regulations, the maximum total period of postponement that may be granted on an application based on business responsibilities and interests is 12 months.
§ Mr. Sorensen
Do I understand from the right hon. Gentleman that that means that no further postponement can be given; and does he appreciate that this imposes a great deal of hardship, anxiety and apprehension upon many worthy applicants?
§ Mr. Sorensen
Does not that mean in fact that the business must be disposed of, by some means or other, or closed down, if the applicant cannot find someone with whom to make a deal?
§ 22. Major Milner
asked the Minister of Labour, in view of the power given to hardship committees under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act to veto an appeal against their refusal to grant postponement or renewal of postponement of National Service when their decision is unanimous, whether he will state the number of cases in which the refusal of the application has been accompanied by denial of permission to appeal?
§ Mr. Brown
Section 6 (3) of the National Service (Armed Forces) Act provides that if the determination of a Military Service (Hardship) Committee with respect to any application for a postponement certificate was unanimous, the 542 applicant shall not be entitled to appeal to the Umpire or any Deputy Umpire except with the leave of the committee. Statistics showing the number of cases in which leave to appeal has been asked for and refused by committees are not available.
§ Major Milner
In view of the fact that the Minister has no figures and that there is evidence that applicants for postponement have been refused leave to appeal, will he see that an assurance is given to the public that if an appeal is made to the Umpire, it will not be treated unfairly?
§ Mr. Tomlinson
Is it not a fact that the only ground upon which an appeal can rest is a change in circumstances?