HC Deb 12 December 1946 vol 431 cc1336-7
54. Mr. Benn Levy

asked the Minister of Labour if he will give an estimate of the number of men who would be excused future military service if the principle of release according to age and length of service were universal and were applied irrespective of whether a man's directed work had been civil or military, or a bit of both.

Mr. Isaacs

I regret that the information required for such an estimate is not available. It could only be obtained by a close scrutiny of the pre-service employment records of all the men now serving in the Forces who are entitled to release under the age and service scheme.

58. Mr. Sidney Shephard

asked the Minister of Labour the period of time men called up as from today will have to serve in His Majesty's services; and if the period of service will be of the same duration in all three services.

Mr. Isaacs

The small number of men who will be called up between now and the end of 1946 will come within the age and service scheme of release. Their period of service may not be precisely the same in all three Services but they will all be released by the end of 1948. Men called up in 1947 and 1948 will serve for fixed periods ranging from 2 years to 18 months in accordance with the White Paper on Call-Up to the Forces in 1947 and 1948 (Cmd. 6831). The periods will be the same in all three Services.

Captain Crookshank

Can we take it that these dates are absolutely firm, and that there will not be the difficulty in the future that there has been in recent months with the demobilising of existing Forces?

Mr. Isaacs

I cannot give any guarantee that the difficulties of past months may not occur again. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] Perhaps hon. Members will let me complete my answer. I can only say that the Government's definite aim is to reach that target unless something absolutely unforeseen occurs.