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Conscription and the Attlee GovernmentsThe Politics and Policy of National Service 1945–1951$
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L. V. Scott

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198204213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204213.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2021

The 1947 National Service Act

The 1947 National Service Act

(p.97) 5 The 1947 National Service Act
Conscription and the Attlee Governments


Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the National Service Act and conscription. The adoption of a scheme of compulsory military service is the focal point for examining the various features of the National Service Act. It reflected the British experience of compulsory military service in 1946 to 1947; this was evident on the form of conscription. Conflict centred on the length of service. Within the framework of the foreign policy the only effective alternative to the acceptance of conscription lay in the hope that regular recruiting could provide sufficient troops. As the service departments were able to show, regular recruiting would not be enough. The existence of the time limit was reluctantly accepted by the service departments, although not without concern. The imposition of a time limit was significant only in so far as it suggested an element of doubt about the government’s long-term design.

Keywords:   National Service Act, compulsory military service, conscription, length of service, time limit, foreign policy

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