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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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The Military Argument for Conscription

The Military Argument for Conscription

Chapter:
(p.67) 4 The Military Argument for Conscription
Source:
Conscription and the Attlee Governments
Author(s):

L. V. SCOTT

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198204213.003.0004

This chapter discusses military arguments against conscription. The need for conscripts was contingent on different factors: regular recruiting/reengagements, and the scale and duration of these two elements. Neither of these two elements was to allow for an end to compulsory military service. Conscription was inextricably linked with the pursuit of foreign policy; the existence of conscription was a symbol of Britain’s will to act and maintain its position and interest. The military arguments against conscription took different forms and emerged as the problems of the defence budget and the experience of the services developed. In the autumn of 1946, when the government was required to take the decisions, the military objections were muted and the only significant opposition emerged on non-military lines.

Keywords:   military arguments, conscription, recruiting, reengagements, military objections, compulsory military service, foreign policy

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