HC Deb 23 November 1950 vol 481 cc478-9
2. Mr. Nigel Davies

asked the Minister of Labour what proportion of men reaching the age of 18 years, between 1st September, 1949, and 1st September, 1950, were accepted for the Armed Forces; what proportion were rejected on medical grounds; and what proportion were exempted because they were engaged on other work of national importance.

Mr. Isaacs

The latest figures available relate to men reaching the age of 18 in the first half of 1950. Of this group the proportions at 29th September were 39 per cent. in the Forces, 13 per cent. medically unfit, and 10 per cent. deferred as coalminers, agricultural workers, or seamen.

3. Mr. Nigel Davies

asked the Minister of Labour what occupations, other than coalmining and agriculture, permit men to be exempted from National Service on reaching the age of 18 years.

Mr. Isaacs

No occupations permit of exemption from National Service.

Mr. Nigel Davies

Is the Minister not prepared to consider exemption in such cases as I have given him, for example of draughtsmen in aircraft factories who almost certainly would not be required to serve in the Forces during war and, therefore, would not be trained reserves then if they were now called up to the Forces?

Mr. Isaacs

There are no exemptions given, and I am not prepared to recognise exemption for a small category.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Does that mean that clergymen are no longer to be exempted?

10. Mr. Erroll

asked the Minister of Labour if he is prepared to include apprentices to funeral directors in the list of approved apprenticeship schemes for which deferment of National Service is at present granted.

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir, but I am prepared to consider the position if agreed proposals for a national joint apprenticeship scheme are submitted.

Mr. Erroll

In considering these problems, will the Minister realise that apprentices of this type have to serve a lengthy and skilled apprenticeship? Are they not entitled to the same deferment as that accorded to other apprentices?

Mr. Isaacs

The industry has been approached by the Central Youth Employment Executive who have offered to assist in drafting any scheme for apprenticeship. Up to the present nothing much has come out of it, but the offer has been made.

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