§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, S.E.)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether the standard for infantry has been reduced to 5 ft. 3 ins. and 32 in. chest measurement for recruits under 20 years of age; and whether this is caused by the impossibility of filling existing establishments or to raise the new battalions.
§ *THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (Mr. BRODRICK, Surrey, Guildford)
Recruiting varies with the state of the labour market, and temporary relaxations as regards height and girth have to be made from time to time when trade is brisk. In March of last year the supply of recruits was so abundant that we were able to exact the full standard and discontinue special enlistments below it. Recruits now are scarcer, and therefore young men under twenty whom the examining 1431 Medical Officer pronounces to be likely to develop to the full standard will, until further orders, be accepted at the figures named in the Question.