Peacetime Conscription

August 13, 1945

Report Outline
Leading Issue of Postwar Military Policy
Arguments for Peacetime Conscription
Arguments Against Peacetime Conscription

Leading Issue of Postwar Military Policy

Advocates of compulsory military training will return to Washington from the present recess of Congress prepared to press for early action on a permanent system of conscription for the United States. The new system would replace the present Selective Service System after the close of the war with Japan. War Department recommendations for adoption of a peacetime military training law at the 1945 session received full endorsement in a report to the House, July 5, from its special Committee on Postwar Military Policy.

The special committee, Rep. Woodrum (D., Va.), chairman, held open hearings from June 4 to June 19 at which proponents and opponents of compulsory military training were given full opportunity to present their views. Further hearings will be held in the early autumn by the Military Affairs Committee of the House on a compulsory training bill offered by its chairman. Rep. May (D., Ky.), and by the Military Affairs Committee of the Senate on a companion bill offered by Sen. Gurney (R., S. D.). The Woodrum committee's report was confined to broad questions of policy; it did not recommend specific legislation.

Alignment of Forces on Compulsory Training

Immediate adoption of a peacetime training law is urged by all branches of the armed services, the Department of State, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and such specialized groups as the Citizens Committee for Military Training of Young Men, Inc. Immediate action is opposed by the A. F. of L. and the C. I. O., by the three leading farm organizations—American Farm Bureau Federation, National Grange, Farmers Union—by representative associations of educators, and by church groups representing the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish faiths. Some of these groups ask merely for delay until defense needs of the postwar period can be more clearly discerned; others are opposed to the whole principle of compulsory military training.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Military Draft
Aug. 19, 2005  Draft Debates
Jan. 11, 1991  Should the U.S. Reinstate the Draft?
Jun. 13, 1980  Draft Registration
Jun. 20, 1975  Volunteer Army
Nov. 17, 1971  Rebuilding the Army
Nov. 18, 1970  Expatriate Americans
Mar. 20, 1968  Resistance to Military Service
Jun. 22, 1966  Draft Law Revision
Jan. 20, 1965  Reserve Forces and the Draft
Feb. 14, 1962  Military Manpower Policies
Jun. 03, 1954  Military Manpower
Sep. 24, 1952  National Health and Manpower Resources
Oct. 24, 1950  Training for War Service
Aug. 21, 1950  Manpower Controls
Aug. 13, 1945  Peacetime Conscription
Sep. 09, 1944  The Voting Age
Apr. 15, 1944  Universal Military Service
Feb. 17, 1942  Compulsory Labor Service
Jun. 11, 1941  Revision of the Draft System
Aug. 14, 1940  Conscription in the United States
Apr. 24, 1939  Conscription for Military Service
Military Draft
Military Training
Reserves and National Guard