HC Deb 13 March 1922 vol 151 cc1748-50
26. Major GLYN

asked the Prime-Minister what is the actual establishment and expense to the taxpayer of the re- cruiting services of the Navy, Army, and Air Force, respectively, for the current year and for 1921; whether, in view of the duplication of offices, staff, and incidental expenditure, it is possible to combine these three sections of the fighting services; and what would be the estimated saving if such procedure were adopted?


As the answer contains a long statement of figures, I will, with my hon. and gallant Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Captain W. BENN

Is it the intention of the Government to amalgamate any of the constituent portions of the three separate services?


My hon. and gallant Friend (Major Glyn) was good enough to indicate that I might circulate the answer. If there is any general wish I will read the answer. If not, I will circulate it.

Captain BENN

I am a Member of the House, and I am entitled to an answer to the question which I have asked.

Establishment. Cost.
1920–21. 1921–22. 1920–21. 1921–22.
Navy. £ £
Number provided for in estimates officers and men 65 126 32,319 51,000
Increased in October, 1920 to 107
Establishment officers 83 1 199,261 139,300
Retired officers 23 67
Non-commissioned officers 100
Pensioners, recruiters, clerks 234 404
Total 440 472
Air Force.
Officers, men and civilians 121 162 86,000 90,000

As regards the last part of the question, it has been decided to set up a Committee to make definite proposals for amalgamating as far as possible services which are common to the Navy, Army, and Air Force. This Committee will no doubt consider the possibility of amalgamating the recruiting services. I am unable to say what would be the


I do not wish to be discourteous to the hon. and gallant Gentleman (Captain Benn), but I feel some difficulty in asking my hon. and gallant Friend behind me (Major Glyn) to allow me to circulate the ans"er if the hon. and gallant Gentleman, who put no question on the Paper, asks to have an answer to his question.

Captain BENN

I put a supplementary question on a point of considerable public importance. Is it competent for a Minister to urge that he cannot reply to a supplementary question on the ground that another hon. Member has given his consent to the circulation of the main answer?


Certainly. I do not think that that really arises here. The hon. and gallant Gentleman (Major Glyn) asked for information as to what would be the estimated saving if a certain course were adopted.

Following is the answer to Major Glyn's question:

The figures asked for by my hon. and gallant Friend are as follow:—

estimated saving on the amalgamation of the latter.