HC Deb 29 March 1956 vol 550 c2341
26. Commander Agnew

asked the Minister of Labour if, with regard to the case for deferment from National Service of the applicant from the Vale of Eve-sham, which has been the subject of representations to him, he will give the matter further consideration owing to the risk of that family's horticultural holding passing out of cultivation altogether in the event of the applicant being called up now for National Service.

Mr. Iain Macleod

My predecessor was advised in August, 1954, by the Agricultural Advisory Panel that there was insufficient work on the holding to justify this man's deferment. I have again studied the papers but can find no reason to interfere with this decision. His call-up has been postponed for more than a year on grounds of hardship, but the Military Service (Hardship) Committee has refused further postponement.

Commander Agnew

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, as the Question states, it is believed that there is risk of this particularly valuable agricultural land going out of cultivation because the family cannot make arrangements to hire labour to work it? If that is so, will he have another look at the matter with a view to seeing whether it is possible to give the man a further period of deferment?

Mr. Macleod

This matter has been looked at, I think, by three or perhaps four Ministers, and each has come to the same conclusion. The facts about the agricultural value of the holding were before the panel, whose decision was unanimous. Even having looked at the case again, I am afraid I cannot find it right to interfere.