Enlistments To Cut Draft (10-7-40)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 7, 1940)


Plans to Call 400,000 Men May Be Altered

By John A. Reichmann, United Press Staff Writer

Selective Service headquarters planned to issue today regulations covering the selection or deferment of the 16,404,000 men who register on October 16 for one year of military training.

Announcement of conscription quotas for each state is expected to be made by mid-week, probably tomorrow. Although the Army originally planned to call up 400,000 conscripts before the end of the year, draft experts said the number probably would be less because of heavy voluntary enlistments.

There will be no “class” deferments in the regulations in contrast with the World War draft, which granted blanket exemptions to those working in shipyards and other essential defense industries. Local boards will consider each individual’s claim to deferment.

Officials indicated that all married men living with their wives would be granted deferment. They expect to have about five million men without dependents and not engaged in essential occupations.

It was believed that the regulations would practically tell local boards that they shall defer persons who occupy key posts in any industry serving the normal needs of a community or whose removal would cause a recession in employment in any industry. Doctors, dentists, policemen, firemen and health inspectors would be deferred too.

Classification of registrants will not take place until after the lottery – between Oct. 21 and Oct. 26 – has determined the order in which they are to be selected.

To obtain deferment the registrant will have to submit affidavits from his employer showing him to be essential to some industry. If the deferment claim is based on his having dependents, an affidavit will have to be submitted from those whose dependency is claimed.

The regulations probably will provide that any person deferred for any reason will be obliged to appear before the local board at the end of each six months to establish that his original claim for deferment still is good.

Other steps to be taken by conscription officials this week to get the draft machinery ready are:

  • Appointment of the 25,000 members of the 6,500 local draft boards by President Roosevelt. Names of the appointees who have been nominated by state governors will be announced at the draft headquarters of each state.

  • Appointment of 6,500 doctors and 6,500 lawyers – one for each draft area – to work with boards, the doctors as examiners of physical fitness and the lawyers as advisers to registrants and in appeals regarding deferment. The American Medical Association and the American Bar Association have volunteered their services.

Do You Have Any Draft Questions?
If you have any questions on rulings or interpretations of the conscription law, you can get correct answers from Milton Bronner, Pittsburgh Press Selective Service Information Bureau, 1013 13th St., N.W., Washington, D.C.

Be Sure to Enclose Postage Prepaid or Stamped Envelope, Self-Addressed.

Objectors Advised On Conscription

Conscientious objectors against peacetime military conscription must register with other potential draftees October 16 or face prosecution as draft-dodgers, the American Civil Liberties Union warned today.

The warning came as the organization’s New York headquarters announced the formation of a 19-man nationwide committee to counsel conscientious objectors. The committee includes three American Legion members.

The ACLU is interested solely in protecting the legal rights of conscientious objectors…and in avoiding the unjustified commitment to prison of men of genuine conscience.