§ 49. Mr. Dodds
asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the dissatisfaction in respect of his proposals for National Service in which the two years' period is retained with the progressive increase in the age of call-up; and if he will give consideration to the holding of an authoritative and impartial inquiry into the use of manpower in the Armed Forces as a matter of public importance, with a view to reducing the period of National Service.
§ Mr. Dodds
Surely the Prime Minister appreciates that yesterday the most able Tory Minister failed completely to justify an extension of the period of unsettlement and frustration before call-up. Since general opinion condemns the scheme, will the Prime Minister state how he was persuaded to accept such a cock-eyed scheme? Will he also explain something that was never answered yesterday: why are the young men of this country called upon to do two years' service when those of most of the N.A.T.O. Allies do less?
§ The Prime Minister
The whole of this matter was debated yesterday and the House took its decision. In reply to the second part of the question, I would only repeat what is well known in all parts of the House, that this country has a number of commitments overseas, some of them in distant lands, upon which our own prosperity depends.