The Pittsburgh Press (June 17, 1941)
Selective Service change sought –
21 TO 28 DRAFT AGE LIMITS APPROVED BY HOUSE GROUP
Washington, June 17 (UP) –
The House Military Committee today approved a bill that would lower the maximum draft age from 26 to 28, in defiance of the Senate which voted the President discretionary power to exempt those above 28.
The committee acted after Brig. Gen. Lewis B. Hershey, Acting Director of Selective Service, testified that there are eight million registrants in the 21 to 28 age range, and that an additional million will reach this range each year starting with the second national draft registration on July 1.
The bill, as written, would affect draftees, who are 28 or older on July 1. The Senate version, which the committee threw out entirely, would retain the present 21-35 range but would allow the President to grant deferments when, and if, he deemed their services dispensable.
Selective Service officials said previously that a large majority of draftees over 28 are either unfit, are need in vital defense industries or have dependents.
The House is expected to consider the bill later this week, with early passage indicated. There was no indication from the Senate whether the House version will be acceptable. The upper chamber is agreed, however, that men in the older age brackets should be deferred.