§ 29. Sir A. POWNALL
asked the Secretary of State for War whether there has been any improvement during the last three months in recruiting for the Army?
§ 39. Mr. D. G. SOMERVILLE
asked the Secretary of State for War if he can state the present position of recruiting and the number of recruits who on joining the Army during the last 12 months have at the time of enlistment been unemployed?
§ Mr. SHAW
Compared with the same period last year, there has been an increase in the total intake of recruits during the past three months, though the number enlisting into the Infantry shows a small decrease and remains considerably below requirements. As regards the number of recruits who were unemployed at the time of enlistment, information is only available in respect of the London Area where during the recruiting year ended 30th September, 1930, 71 percent. were stated to be unemployed at the time of enlistment. This percentage was obtained from the statements of the recruits: no independent cheek was made or was possible.
§ Lieut.- Colonel Sir A. LAMBERT WARD
Is the right hon. Gentleman taking any steps to improve recruiting both in the Regular Army and in the Territorial Army?
§ Mr. SHAW
Every step that has been taken during the last two years is still being continued, and I wish to point out to the House again that there is no lack 1078 of people offering their services. The difficulty is that the physique of the men who offer themselves is not considered to be up to the required standard.
§ Sir A. POWNALL
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he would offer his services, as one of his predecessors did.