§ 10. Mr. Ralph Etherton
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour what consideration is given to any preference which a man may indicate for a particular service when called up under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act, 1939; in the event of a man being called up inadvertently or otherwise for the Army when his preference is for the Navy, what provisions exist for the man to obtain a transfer; whether he is aware that the Army authorities refuse to transfer the men in such circumstances; and whether he will investigate the position, and, if necessary, introduce legislation or make regulations to prevent such anomalies and hardship?
§ Mr. Assheton
All cases of men who express a preference for the Navy or Air Force are considered by officers of those Services in order to decide which of the men can be accepted. The number expressing preferences for the Navy and the Air Force is always greater than the num- 217 ber required by those Services: it is, therefore, inevitable that many are disappointed. If my hon. Friend knows of any case in which a man who has been accepted for the Navy or Air Force has been called up for the Army, I shall be glad to have particulars.
§ Mr. Etherton
I could draw particular cases to my hon. Friend's attention. Could he say why last Saturday, for the first time, men registering were not asked to express a preference?
§ Mr. Denville
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that offices were closed at mid-day and that applicants were told to come back on Monday?