HC Deb 20 June 1951 vol 489 cc516-7
50. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Defence what consultations he is having with the member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation with a view to ensuring uniformity in the systems of compulsory military service in force in those countries.

Mr. Shinwell

A study of the systems of compulsory military service in force in the member countries is one of the many tasks at present being undertaken by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT a statement showing the statutory periods of whole-time military service in the North Atlantic Treaty countries.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Can my right hon. Friend give an assurance that if the particulars he is going to circulate reveal a very great disparity between the systems in force he will continue his efforts to ensure a greater equality of sacrifice as between these countries?

Mr. Shinwell

That, of course, is our purpose. There is no great disparity, but of course there is some.

Following is the statement:

United Kingdom 24 months
United Stales 24 months
France 18 months
Holland 12–24 months
(majority serve 18 months)
Luxembourg 12–15 months
Belgium 24 months
Denmark 12 months
Norway 12 months
Portugal 18–48 months
Italy 18 months
(majority serve 15 months)
Iceland None
Canada None

In certain countries the period varies between the Services. The figures are maxima and minima.