HC Deb 15 December 1938 vol 342 cc2191-2W
Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Lord Privy Seal what response has been made to the offer of the British Legion, Scotland, to place all its services at the disposal of the Government in connection with the national voluntary service campaign?

Sir J. Anderson

The offer of the British Legion in Scotland to place its services at the disposal of the Government was made to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. My right hon. Friend has already informed the various Departments likely to be concerned of the Legion's offer, and has conveyed to its chairman an expression of appreciation of the spirit which has prompted it.

Mr. Denman

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he can give an indication of the approximate proportion of the adult population, giving separately the proportion for men and women, likely to be required for the scheme of voluntary national service?

Sir J. Anderson

As my hon. Friend will appreciate, owing to changes in establishments for the fighting forces and their several auxiliaries and reserves it is not possible to give more than a very tentative estimate in reply to this question. According to the requirements as hitherto formulated of the various defence services, including civil defence, the approximate numbers required for part-time as well as whole-time service may be estimated in total as 2,016,000 men and 608,000 women. These figures, which I must point out include all persons already on the strength, represent 17 per cent, and 4.7 per cent. respectively of the estimated total numbers of men and women between the ages of 18 and 55. The number of people covered by the Schedule of Reserved Occupations is of course not an element in this calculation.

Mr. Markham

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, in the arrangements for a national register, consideration has been given to the necessity for a separate classification of scientists of all kinds; and whether consideration has been given to the various ways in which their services might best be utilised in an emergency?

Sir J. Anderson

Yes, Sir. Arrangements for this classification are already well advanced. As regards the second part of the question, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour, in consultation with me, is appointing a committee to advise on the best means of utilising in an emergency the services of men of science, members of professional organisations and persons with special administrative experience.