Manpower needs of the armed forces may force the ending of student draft deferment within the next two or three years, the American Council on Education was told last Saturday. The announcement came at the close of the Council's 35th annual conference, held this year in Chicago.
A report on "Education and National Manpower Policies," presented to the council by Raymond Walters, president of the University of Cincinnati, stated that the outlook for all military manpower is "clearly one of continued and stringent shortages of all types of personnel."
The report, which was based on the views of government and educational spokesmen, continued, "In particular, the demands of the military services promise to create a serious situation threatening all deferments in another two or three years."
The report went on to stress the needs for specialized manpower--needs which "for the forseeable future seem likely to be more and more severe." It endorsed present deferment policies, but saw a need for combining programs for training in military skills and for civilian specialities. It also recommended that a study be made of the possibilities of training women.
The report led the council to adopt unanimously a resolution calling for "the development of national manpower policies which can provide a basis for the best utilization of the national manpower resources, including necessary provisions for education and training."
William C. Fels, secretary of the College Entrance Examination Board, commented that manpower authorities must decide whether a country which keeps a large standing army for a long period "is likely to win the next war."
Fels asserted, "History tends to prove the opposite." He suggested the armed forces should look for ways to develop "smaller, more efficient and flexible services" than existing ones and so avoid imposing impossible demands on the country's manpower and economy.