Draft Rulings Are Awaited (10-5-40)

Reading Eagle (October 5, 1940)


F. R. May Place All Men With Dependents On Deferred List

Washington, Oct. 5 (AP) –

President Roosevelt is expected within a few days to order automatic deferment from compulsory military service of all eligible men who have dependents.

Many revised regulations governing classification and training under the draft law are now awaiting the President’s approval, officials said today, and these provide that potential conscripts claiming apparently valid reasons for deferment shall be placed in a deferred class virtually without question.

It was explained this procedure was decided upon to give local Selective Service boards full leeway under the draft law’s definition of dependency which members of the Selective Service Committee have criticized as “entirely too strict.”

That definition, strictly construed, would require that to be deferred because of dependents, a man would have to show that his earned income was essential to them. Officials contended they could foresee many cases in which the definition, if not interpreted liberally, would work undue hardships.

To Go in Class III

Under the proposed procedure, men with dependents would be placed in Class III – Class I being formed of men available for immediate service and Class II consisting of those in essential employments.

An official explained:

Because we expect to get all the men the Army will require from Class I, it is very likely that none of those in Class III will ever be called.

As a result of another late change in the proposed regulations, it was said that college students eligible for service may be given medical examinations within a month or so after they register, although they are deferred by law from liability for service until July 1, 1941.

Officials said a slight change also was made in the final draft of regulations regarding the grouping of occupational deferments.

At one point, it had been decided to have separate classes for workers in national defense industries and those in occupations of importance to the national welfare but not directly connected with defense. Now, all would be grouped in Class II and officials said this would tend to reduce the appeal work of local and appeal boards.