asked the Prime Minister whether he will call upon each of the Fighting Services for the numbers of men and women who have been called up but whose postings have been deferred, and returned to await further instructions; whether by means of increased training facilities, or otherwise, he will arrange that the time of such deferment be limited and that so far as possible no persons called up for service should be without instructions and merely placed on waiting lists?
I have the information to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers. The scale of training facilities which it is possible to make available depends on many factors and no recruits are kept waiting longer than is absolutely necessary. So far as possible, recruits on deferred service are warned of the probable time that will elapse before they are required. In no case are they left without instructions.
Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that the idea which is getting around that there is no vacancy in any part of the war effort is fostering a spirit of frustration throughout the country, and will he take steps to make it known that there is, every day and every hour, something that somebody can do in the war effort?
I am not aware that that idea is getting around; if it is, I am sure my hon. and gallant Friend's Question will have contradicted it. The aim, where there is any deferment, is that people should carry on with their jobs or perhaps with some other job until they are called up.
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider taking some steps to put into effect what he has just said, so that the words "waiting list" shall not be known in connection with services wanted for the war effort?
I do not know whether my hon. and gallant Friend is not referring merely to a matter of nomenclature. It is necessary that certain people should be deferred, but it has been made abundantly plain that while they are waiting they should be carrying on with their ordinary jobs.