WASHINGTON, Jan, 9--Voluntary enlistments may suspend the draft indefinitely, the CRIMSON learned tonight.
The Army is currently getting 35,000 recruits--a month. Selective Service calls will be unnecessary if this rate keeps up, National Recruiting Headquarters said today.
The Army has already announced that it would draft no men in February and March. Secretary Kenneth C. Royall explained that recruits and re-enlistments have filled the quota.
"As long as volunteers remain sufficient to maintain the strength of the Army there will be no calls for induction," Royal said. Under the Draft Act the Army must try to meet its requirements through voluntary enlistments; if it fails to do this, it may make up the difference by draftees.
Major Donald McGuire, Chief of the Press Section of the Recruiting Bureau, said today that the wave of enlistments and re-enlistments was entirely unexpected. "We have no reason to think that it is just temporary," he added.
With the draft called off until April, Selective Service Headquarters has expressed fear that draft board machinery will go to pieces. The boards, manned mainly by volunteers, will have no work to do.
President Truman's budget message today will bring more news. Truman is expected to ask $13 billion for national defense of which about $5 billion will go to the Army. Defense headquarters has announced that it can support only 677,000 officers and men on this budget.
Since the Army already has 600,00 officers and men, it would then be able to take only 17,000 more men, volunteers or draftees.
In order to support the 900,000 men authorized by Congress, the armed forces had asked Truman for $23 billion for the fiscal year beginning July 1.