HC Deb 12 June 1956 vol 554 c16W
72. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Labour what proportion of farmworkers becoming liable for National Service are currently granted deferment; and what consequent administrative economies in his Department has been effected.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The best estimate I can give of the number of agricultural workers becoming liable for National Service each year is 18,000. In 1955 9,348 first applications for deferment were granted for varying periods during the year. In addition about 1,100 were rejected on medical grounds. As my hon. Friend is aware, the scope of eligibility for deferment was extended towards the end of 1955, but I cannot yet say what effect this will have on the figures in a full year. I am considering what economies can be effected in administration, but the extension of the deferment field has not lessened the work.