HC Deb 02 July 1958 vol 590 cc1332-3
29. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Labour what decision has been reached with regard to the performance of National Service by men born during the last quarter of 1939.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The position is not yet sufficiently clear for me to add anything to what was said about these men in the White Paper on Call-up of Men to the Forces.

Mr. Dodds

While appreciating the difficulty of taking a decision in this matter, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman appreciates the difficulty of young men now approaching 19 years of age without any knowledge whatever of what the future has for them in this respect? When does he expect that the situation will be clear enough for him to make some declaration which will help them and their parents to draw up some programme?

Mr. Macleod

I understand that very well. The position is that men born in the third quarter of 1939 are to be called up and the 1940 class have been told that they will not be called up. The last quarter of 1939, therefore, is our final reserve. Although I should like to make a pronouncement as soon as I can, it is one which I am not in a position to make at present.

Mr. Chetwynd

Does the difficulty arise over the uncertainty about recruiting? Is that the main difficulty?

Mr. Macleod

No, Sir. The main difficulty is that of estimating the needs of the Services and also the number which will be available to meet those needs.

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