National Service Act 1947

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1947 c. 31


National Service Act , 1947.

(10 & 11 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 31.

An Act to confine the operation of the National Service Acts to male British subjects and to service in the armed forces of the Crown; to make provision as to the terms and conditions of such service and as to the period for which those Acts shall continue in operation; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[18th July 1947]

Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Service in the armed forces.

Service in the armed forces.

S-1 Liability to be called up for service.

1 Liability to be called up for service.

(1) Subject to the provisions of the National Service Acts, 1939 to 1946, and this Act (which Acts are hereinafter collectively referred to as the National Service Acts), every male British subject who has attained the age of eighteen years and has not attained the age of twenty-six years and is ordinarily resident in Great Britain shall, by virtue of this Act, be liable to be called upon to serve in the armed forces of the Crown for two terms of service that is to say—

(a ) a term of whole-time service, that is to say, service in the regular forces for a period of twelve months or such shorter period as His Majesty may by Order in Council appoint; and

(b ) a term of part-time service as defined by this Act;

and save as aforesaid no person shall be liable to be called up for service under the National Service Acts.

(2) The provisions of the National Service Acts, 1939 to 1946, as amended by this Act shall apply with respect to a person liable to be called up for service by virtue of this Act and to a person called up thereunder; and references in those Acts to a person liable to be called up for service under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act, 1939 (in this Act referred to as ‘the principal Act’), and to a person called up therefor shall be construed accordingly.

S-2 Whole-time and part-time service.

2 Whole-time and part-time service.

(1) Where an enlistment notice is served under section four of the principal Act upon any person liable to be called up for service by virtue of this Act, the term or period for which he shall be deemed to have been entered or enlisted shall begin with the day on which he is required by the notice to present himself to the authority specified therein and shall end when his term of whole-time service is completed in accordance with the provisions of the First Schedule to this Act.

(2) On the day next after that on which the term of a person's whole-time service is completed he shall, subject to the provisions of the next following section, be deemed—

(a ) if his last service during that term was in the royal navy or the royal marines, to be entered for service in a royal naval special reserve which the Admiralty shall raise and maintain for the purposes of this Act; or

(b ) if that last service was in the regular army, to be enlisted for service in the territorial army or the army reserve, as the Army Council may direct; or

(c ) if that last service was in the regular air force, to be enlisted for service in the air force reserve;

for a term of part-time service ending with the expiration of the seventh year after the beginning of his term of whole-time service; so, however, that the end of a person's part-time service shall be postponed by any period by which the term of his whole-time service was extended by virtue of proviso (b ) to paragraph 1 of the First Schedule to this Act.

(3) During his term of part-time service a person may be required to undergo training for any periods not exceeding in the aggregate—

(a ) sixty days during the whole of his term of part-time service;

(b ) twenty-one days in any year of that service.

(4) The Service Authorities shall by regulations make provision for defining what constitutes a day's training for the purposes of this Act; and such regulations may in particular allow, within such limitations as may be prescribed, hourly periods of instruction to be aggregated so that four such periods may be reckoned as a day's training.

(5) The provisions of this Act and of any regulations made thereunder relating to the terms and conditions of service of a person serving in any auxiliary force during his part-time service shall be subject to the provisions of any enactment whereby reservists may be called into actual service or called out on permanent service or to aid the civil power, or the territorial army or the auxiliary air force may be embodied, or whereby men of the air force reserve or the auxiliary air force may be called out to serve in defence of the British Islands.

S-3 Volunteer service in lieu of part-time service.

3 Volunteer service in lieu of part-time service.

(1) If, during his whole-time service, any person is accepted by a Service Authority as a volunteer for service in the royal naval reserve, the royal naval volunteer reserve, the territorial army, the army reserve, the royal air force volunteer reserve or the auxiliary air force, and enters into an engagement whereby he will, on the day next after that on which his term of whole-time service is completed, be entered or enlisted in one of those auxiliary forces as a volunteer for a term not less than the term of part-time service which he would otherwise be required to serve under this Act, he shall be entered or enlisted in accordance with that engagement and shall not be deemed to be entered or enlisted in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of the last foregoing section.

(2) A person who is entered or enlisted for service as a volunteer in one of the forces aforesaid in accordance with the provisions of this section shall perform the service required of members of that force in lieu of the part-time service required by this Act.

S-4 Transfer.

4 Transfer.

4. The Service Authorities shall by regulations make provision for enabling or requiring a person serving in any auxiliary force during his part-time service, or during service performed in lieu thereof, to be transferred to any other auxiliary force; so however that such regulations shall not provide for the transfer of any person to the royal naval reserve, the royal naval volunteer reserve, the royal air force volunteer reserve or the auxiliary air force except at his own request.

S-5 Liability to complete interrupted service.

5 Liability to complete interrupted service.

(1) If any person serving in the armed forces of the Crown ceases to serve therein before he has completed his whole-time and part-time service, or terms of service equivalent thereto, he shall unless he has attained the age of thirty-six years or has ceased to be liable under this Act to be called up for service otherwise than by reason of his having attained the age of twenty-six years, be liable to be called upon to serve for such terms of whole-time or part-time service as will, with the service completed by him, be equivalent to the terms of service for which persons are liable under section one of this Act.

(2) The Service Authorities shall by regulations make provision for defining what terms of service shall be treated as equivalent to terms of whole-time and part-time service for the purposes of this section and for prescribing the terms of whole-time or part-time service which will, with any service completed by any person, be equivalent to the terms of service for which persons are liable under section one of this Act; so, however, that with respect to service as a volunteer in lieu of part-time service in pursuance of subsection (1) of section three of this Act, such regulations shall not permit more than fifteen days' training in any year to be reckoned towards the total of sixty days' training which a person is required to undergo during the whole of his term of part-time service.

(3) The Minister may cause to be served on any person liable under this section to be called upon to undertake part-time service a written notice specifying the term of part-time service which he is liable to perform, and, subject as hereinafter provided, that person shall after the expiration of the period of fourteen days after the service of the notice be deemed to be entered or enlisted for service in such force as may be specified in the notice:

Provided that if within the said period of fourteen days that person applies in the prescribed manner to the Minister for the cancellation or variation of the notice on the ground that he is not liable to be called upon to undertake part-time service under this section or is liable to undertake a term of part-time service shorter than that specified in the notice, the Minister shall, unless he grants the application, refer it to a referee selected by the Minister from a panel of persons nominated by the Lord Chancellor; and the notice shall not become operative to enter or enlist the applicant for service except as from such date and for such a term as may be determined by the Minister or the referee as aforesaid.

S-6 Calling up for training during part-time service.

6 Calling up for training during part-time service.

(1) The Service Authority may cause to be served on any person during his term of part-time service a training notice which shall state that he is called up for training and the period for which he is called up and shall require him to present himself at such place and time on such day (not earlier than the thirtieth day after the date of the service of the notice), and to such authority, as may be specified in the notice.

(2) Where a training notice has been served on any person, the Service Authority may at any time before the day on which he is thereby required to present himself cause to be served on him a supplementary notice varying the training notice by...

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