HC Deb 13 December 1956 vol 562 cc599-600
10. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Minister of Labour if, in view of the economic crisis and the need for employing the maximum amount of labour in essential industries, he will introduce legislation to repeal the National Service Acts.

Mr. Iain Macleod

No, Sir.

Mr. Hughes

Is that not a rather unimaginative answer to come from a potential Prime Minister? Does the right hon. Gentleman not realise the importance of getting more skilled labour into British industry during the present crisis? Will he take an opportunity of reading a recent study of this subject of National Service by two eminent and distinguished research students of Glasgow University?

Mr. Macleod

The answer to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question is "No," and to the second and third parts "Yes."

Mr. Woodburn

In view of the fact that Britain has now probably renounced the idea of "going it alone", are there any discussions taking place at N.A.T.O. with a view to rationalising the whole of national service throughout the European countries?

Mr. Macleod

I think the right hon. Gentleman knows that the question of N.A.T.O. forces is, not surprisingly, being discussed in N.A.T.O. at the present time.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Are we to take it that the right hon. Gentleman is the best potential Prime Minister that the other side of the House has?

Forward to