HC Deb 28 October 1952 vol 505 cc1726-8
35. Mr. H. Hynd

asked the Minister of Labour whether men excused National Service will be called upon to join the Civil Defence Corps.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Watkinson)

There is no power to compel such men to join the Civil Defence Corps, but I would certainly urge them to volunteer. The hon. Member's suggestion is clearly not applicable to men in the Merchant Navy, nor, by and large, to men medically rejected. Apprentices and others whose service is deferred, are not excused National Service but are called up in due course.

Mr. Hynd

Whatever the legal phraseology may be as to why they are not doing National Service, is it not a reasonable suggestion to put to these men that, as they are getting this special privilege, they ought at least to play their part in the country's defence either by joining the Civil Defence Corps, the Territorial Army, or some other Service?

Mr. Watkinson

Yes, Sir. I quite agree with the hon. Member, and I think he has performed a very useful service by raising this matter.