§ 57. Mr. David Jones
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that there is a considerable falling off in the attendance of apprentices at courses 2890 of study in technical schools and institutes, consequent upon the possibility of their being called up for military service in the middle of the apprenticeship period; and if he will consider granting automatic deferment to these people until their apprenticeship period is completed.
§ Mr. Ness Edwards
The answer to the first part of the Question is in the negative. As regards the second part, the question of the position of apprentices in relation to call up is under consideration.
§ Mr. Jones
Would my hon. Friend have regard to the concern exercised both by educational authorities and the parents of these apprentices who are concerned at their attitude because of the fact that it is likely they will be called up before they finish their apprenticeship, and consequently they are not attending the technical institutes?
§ Mr. Edwards
My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Air made a statement on this matter the day before yesterday. I would refer my hon. Friend to that statement.
§ Mr. Janner
Will the Minister consider the question of deferring those who have been encouraged by the Services to take courses of specialist study? Will he see to their deferment until they pass their examinations, particularly if it is only a matter of a few months?
§ Mr. Edwards
On this we are advised by the university authorities and the joint university recruiting board. The steps that are being taken are the ones taken having regard to the vacancies in the universities. The House must keep this in mind. The vacancies in the universities must be kept for the men returning from the Forces.