HC Deb 26 November 1953 vol 521 cc71-2W
Mr. C. Hughes

asked the Minister of Labour to state the policy of his Department on the question of the call-up for National Service of agricultural workers who transfer from one farm to another, with special reference to the traditional hiring fairs held in certain areas of Wales and England.

Sir W. Monckton

In reply to similar Questions on 19th November, I informed the House that in cases where the move from one farm to another had already take place, applications for renewed deferment would be considered under the normal conditions. That disposes of the cases already in hand, some 250 in number. With regard to subsequent cases as they arise, I have suspended all action to call the man up until I have considered the representations now being made to me and am in a position to make a statement, as I undertook to do last week.

77. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will take steps to ensure more generous consideration of applications for deferments from persons about to be called up for National Service; and, in particular, that whenever possible, two members of the same family shall not be required to perform their National or Reserve Service at the same time.

Sir W. Monckton

So far as the original call-up for National Service is concerned, this would be a matter for consideration, not under the deferment rules, but under the procedure for dealing with postponement of call-up on the ground of exceptional hardship. This procedure is governed by the appropriate Sections of the National Service Act, 1948, and the Regulations made there under, and the final decision in any particular case rests with the umpire who is an independent statutory authority. Recall for Reserve training is a matter for the Service authorities.