HC Deb 27 June 1950 vol 476 cc2067-8
1. Dr. Barnett Stross

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will consider such alteration in registration for National Service which will exempt the only son of a widow.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)

No, Sir. The classes of persons not liable to be called up for service are specified in the National Service Act, 1948, and I have no power to add to them.

Dr. Stross

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this type of provision does exist in many other countries and that the numbers must necessarily be very few? Would he not consider the matter again and see whether he could give this type of exemption?

Mr. Isaacs

I can only say that this matter was discussed on the Committee stage of the Bill, in May, 1947, and was rejected by the Committee.

Mr. John MacLeod

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that in certain remote areas of the Highlands, where there are very few communications, such a son is of great value to the widow? Will he look sympathetically into any cases brought to his notice?

Mr. Isaacs

Certainly, and I would be glad to draw attention, in any such cases, to the fact that there is provision for assistance where hardship has been caused.