§ 62. Mr. PETO
asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether, under the new recruiting scheme, the number of recruits expected from any area is to be based upon the units already supplied by that area, the men needed to bring them up to strength, and the men required for drafts; if so, whether this will mean that the greater the number of recruits already enlisted from any area the greater is to be the demand upon them for the future; whether that is the policy that has been decided on by the War Office; and, if so, whether he will consider the adoption of a more equitable basis?
§ Mr. TENNANT
The new system is designed with the intention of providing a reservoir from which a constant supply of recruits can be obtained for units which require reinforcement. Each district is being asked to find as many men as possible. It is only natural that each area should be asked to keep up its own battalions as far as possible, but it is quite recognised that where patriotic efforts have been great the number of men of serviceable age may not be sufficient to meet the demand, in which case any shortage would be made good from districts which have hitherto not responded to the same extent. I am sure, however, the hon. Member will realise the great desirability of filling up local battalions with local men as far as possible.