Deferred Classification Asked for Insurance Company Employees
The following telegram was sent to C. J. Doyle, associate general counsel of the National Board of Fire Underwriters: “While at Washington please set before provost marshal general the extent and essential character of fire prevention and fire protection work which has been and is being done by fire insurance companies and organizations supported by them for the various departments of the government and for industrial plants working on government contracts of all kinds and for general conservation of the created resources of the country so important at this time. Such work can be done only by men with special training and equipment, and we believe their services to be of greater value to the country at this time in this work, for which they are especially qualified, than in any other line to which they might be called under the selective service regulations. Many of these men are within draft ages. Please therefore submit, on behalf of National Board of Fire Underwriters, request that these employees, whom we believe to be indispensable and whose places cannot now be filled, be accorded deferred classification as being necessary to maintenance of national interest during the emergency. (Signed) F. C. Bliswell, President.”
The reply of J. Barry King, judge advocate-aide to the provost marshal general, is, briefly, as follows: “The employees designated in your conference and in the wire you have submitted are not entitled to deferred classification as a class. No provision has been made to defer employees of any financial institution as a class, but every employee is entitled to have his claim heard, presented either by himself or his employer, by the District Board having jurisdiction of the employee, and if it is found that he is engaged in an employment bringing him within the scope of the regulations heretofore defined, the District Board will have the exclusive original jurisdiction to defer him, and to place him where the facts, as applied to these regulations, entitle him to be placed. There is no occasion for the financial institutions of this Nation to be unduly apprehensive at this time about the classification of employees. If you will apply a close study to the regulations, and remember that the District Boards, which have the authority to enforce the regulations, are composed of the highest type of citizens to be found in the various communities wherein the registrants reside, and where the necessity for the maintenance of industry is imminent, then you must conclude that all registrants engaged in necessary industry, occupations or employments, and found to be necessary to the institution will be deferred for call into military service until that class of registrant who can best be spared, without interference with industry, have been first exhausted.”
The fire department of Youngstown, O., has two vacancies to be filled, with the eligible list exhausted, and no applications.