§ 4.9 p.m.
§ THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE (EARL ALEXANDER OF TUNIS) rose to move, That an Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the National Service (Adaptation of Enactments) (Navy, Army and Air Force Reserves) Order, 1954, reported from the Special Orders Committee on Thursday last, be made in the form of the draft laid before Parliament. The noble and gallant Earl said: My Lords, I beg leave to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. I can explain this Order very briefly to your Lordships. The object is to effect a little legal tidying up, in order to ensure that the intentions of Parliament, expressed in the Navy, Army and Air Force Reserves Act, 1954, are carried out.
§ The Reserves Act makes "Z" and "G" Reservists and men called up under the National Service Act, 1948, whose part-time service comes to an end, liable to recall until June 30, 1959, or the age of 45, whichever is the earlier. The men affected are made members of Reserves governed by the Royal Naval Reserve (Volunteer) Act of 1859, and by the Army and Air Force Reserve Acts of 1950. The object of Part I of the Schedule is to make it clear that a man who is a Naval or Marine reservist by virtue of the Reserves Act of 1954, and who has not been called into actual service cannot be held in the Reserve after the age of 45 or after June 30, 1959. It also provides that reservists who have been called into actual service and released cannot again be called into actual service after these dates. The object of Parts II and III of the Schedule is to ensure that men who are made members of the Army and Air Force Reserves by the 1954 Act are liable to be called out for home defence, If this Order is not passed it might be possible to raise legal quibbles on sub-section (1) of Section 6 of both the Army and Air Force Acts. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That an Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that the National Service (Adaptation of Enactments) (Navy, Army and Air 1006 Force Reserves) Order, 1954, reported from the Special Orders Committee on Thursday last, be made in the form of the Draft laid before Parliament.—(Earl Alexander of Tunis.)
§ EARL JOWITT
My Lords, it is such a pleasure to think that the noble and gallant Earl, the Minister of Defence, has joined the ranks of those in favour of legal tidying up, and of preventing legal quibbles, that we on this side of the House raise no objection whatever to this proposal. We only hope that the noble and gallant Earl will continue along the good course which he has now laid out for himself.
§ VISCOUNT BRIDGEMAN
My Lords, I should like to support this Motion very briefly, but from an angle slightly different from that from which the noble and learned Earl opposite has supported it. These arrangements will, I think, be very welcome in industry, because up to now there has been a good deal of doubt as to what men engaged in industry are, in fact, to be called up and what men can be counted on for work of national importance in the event of a future emergency. Managements all over this country will be glad to know where they are in this matter. The arrangements will also have, as a by-product, the result that individuals who have had reserve liability and are now freed from it by this Order will know whether it is possible for them to join the Home Guard, and I hope they will do so in large numbers.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to: the said Address to be presented to Her Majesty by the Lords with White Staves.