§ Mr. HANCOCK
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War (1) whether, having regard to the shortage of fully-qualified physicians and surgeons after the War and the consequent menace to the civil population, care will be taken that medical students will not be compelled to enlist in His Majesty's Forces until they finish their course of study or before reaching the age of nineteen years; and (2) whether Army Council Order No. 863 has been withdrawn and, if so, when; whether medical students under nineteen years of age undergoing training in colleges and hospitals can be permitted to continue their studies in accordance with the Regulation laid down in the Army Council Order provided that they join an Officers' Training Corps or some other recognised Army auxiliary; whether consideration will be given to the fact that parents have embarked upon an expensive course of training for their sons under the impression that Army Council Order No. 863 would be observed; and will instructions be issued to recruiting officers and tribunals that upon representation being made by responsible heads of colleges or hospitals as to the bona fides of students, and that they are members of an Officers' Training Corps or similar body, that calling-up notices should be suspended until the age of nineteen years is attained, in view of the fact that the military training in Cadet and Officers' Training Corps are quite equal in value and strenuousness to that given recruits in the Army?
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
The instructions to which my hon. Friend refers have since been amended. No member of the O.T.C. who produces a certificate from the officer commanding the contingent that he is recommended to join an officer cadet unit is called up until he is eighteen and a half. Medical students are not called up if they are within twenty-four month?, of their medical degree or licence, provided they are enrolled in an O.T.C.; if they are not within this period, they are not called to the Colours if, being under thirty-one, they are classified lower than B 1.