HC Deb 23 January 1947 vol 432 cc363-4
52. Sir Ian Fraser

asked the Minister of Labour if he will consider accelerating the release from the Armed Forces of young men who, before their service, had started training for professional work as architects, surveyors, lawyers, accountants, etc.

Mr. Isaacs

In so far as the men referred to are students, they will be eligible for early release if they satisfy the conditions governing any arrangements for the release of students for the universities and similar institutions which may be made for the next academic year I could not go further than this.

Sir I. Fraser

Does the right horn Gentleman appreciate the extreme hardship to some of these people, who in some cases will not be able to earn a living until they are 28 or 30 or more years old? In particular, will he consider the loss to the nation if these skilled persons are not coming forward shortly?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir, and efforts are made to give men opportunities of taking advantage of the facilities that are open to them. The great trouble is that as soon as we begin to give special facilities for one class of people we have to hold back men in the Services to let those men come out.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

While there are obviously great administrative difficulties in the right hon. Gentleman's Department in giving special consideration to these cases, does not the highest aspect of national interest indicate that they should be given preference?

Mr. Isaacs

I hope I did not give any indication that it was administrative difficulties which constitute our difficulty. It is a question of fair play between men who have been a long time in the Services and those who are coming out.

Mr. McKinlay

Would it be any serious loss to the nation if we had not any lawyers for the next 10 years?