asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the fact that postponement of National Service is weighted in favour of men undergoing educational training and against men who have business commitments and personal responsibilities, he will take steps to equalise the position, even if it entails creating fresh Umpire case practice.
§ Sir W. Monckton
Applications for postponement of liability to be called up on grounds of hardship are determined in accordance with the relevant provisions of the National Service Acts and Regulations as interpreted by the Umpire, who102W is an independent statutory authority. I cannot accept the suggestion that these judicial decisions are biased in favour of any particular class of case. Perhaps, however, my hon. Friend is thinking of the administrative deferment of call-up to enable training to be completed, but that is quite a different matter from postponement on hardship grounds.
§ Mr. Swingler
asked the Minister of Labour if he will publish in HANSARD the number of men called up for National Service, expressed as a percentage of the number of males in the age group of the population of Great Britain aged 15 to 24 years, in each of the years 1946 to 1951, inclusive.
§ Sir W. Monckton
The following table gives the figures for the years 1947 to 1951. The numbers posted to the Forces in 1946 were higher than in later years and they probably included a considerable number of men over 24 years of age who, up to that time, had been retained in industry owing to the importance of the work on which they were engaged.
Numbers of men posted to Her Majesty's Forces, expressed as percentages of the total numbers of men aged 15 to 24 in Great Britain, are as follow:
Year Per cent. 1947 … … … … 5½ 1948 … … … … 4½ 1949 … … … … 5 1950 … … … … 5½ 1951 … … … … 5