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Loophole Discovered as Marshall Trips on Law


WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 --Three days of legal frenzy ended today as Defense Department experts found a way to allow college students to enlist in the service of their choice at the end of the academic year notwithstanding prior draft board action.

Pentagon lawyers discovered Monday that Secretary George C. Marshall's Friday directive guaranteeing students this option violated provisions of the Selective Service Act, in that a man who has been notified of physical examination cannot legally enlist in any branch of the armed services.

The solution: "Reopen" draft board consideration of each college student's classification, complies with the law and accomplishes the same purpose as the original order.

Two Months to Chose

Draft boards will place every student's status in virtual suspension throughout "the two months immediately preceding the final month of the school year."

General Marshall issued the directive in a move to prevent students from stampeding out of college in fear of being drafted straight into the Army if notice of physical examination should come before the end of the year.

Notice of examination legally prohibits a student from enlisting in the service of his choice, and Defense Department lawyers discovered that Marshall did not have the power to grant special exemption to college students.


Under the substitute arrangement, draft boards will officially reconsider the classification of all college students who have received their notice--retroactively including all those notified or examined before Marshall's directive--and give them a chance to enlist before the end of the academic year. None of these enlistees will be taken before his school closes.

This new policy does not countermand in any way the deferment of every college student until the end of the academic year in which he is enrolled.

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