HC Deb 14 May 1941 vol 371 cc1223-4
71. Sir T. Moore

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider altering the calling-up ages for the Army so that they shall scale downwards from, say, the age of 55, instead of scaling upwards, in order that the Army shall consist fairly of age and youth?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Tomlinson)

In addition to men called up under the National Service Acts the Army has been receiving volunteers up to the age of 50 and in some cases 55. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War considers that the present arrangements allow for the enlistment of a sufficient number of older men.

Sir T. Moore

Surely, it is not the policy of the Government, as in 1914, to risk the loss of the very generation which we shall so urgently want at the end of the war for reconstruction? Why should not the Services take us, the 55's, and downwards, since it is far better to lose us, who are not much good?

Mr. Tomlinson

While I cannot agree with the latter remark, I will put the matter, at least as to the first part of the Supplementary Question, back to the Department.