HC Deb 06 December 1934 vol 295 cc1825-6

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office what was the strength in non-commissioned officers and men of the Territorial Army compared with the establishment on 30th June, 1934?


The strength was 127,024 and the recruiting establishment 155,418.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the difficulty of finding recruits in some areas, especially seaside resorts, is due to the fact that training camps are held at the wrong time of year, generally in August, and will he consider fixing a more reasonable time for training recruits in those areas?

63 and 64. Mr. GLEDHILL

asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office (1) whether, in the interests of the efficiency of the Territorial Army he will consider amending paragraph 699 of the Regulations for the Territorial Army and introduce the issue of marriage allowance during camp to soldiers of the Territorial Army, irrespective of age;

(2) whether he is aware that several married non-commissioned officers and men of the Territorial Army under 26 years of age do not attend annual camp for the full period of 15 days owing to non-entitlement of marriage allowance and inability to support a wife on a single man's Army rates of pay, and that several men, after being trained for four years, do not re-engage for this reason; and whether he will take the necessary steps to alter the position?


The matter is being considered in connection with the forthcoming Army Estimates.


Can I have the assurance of the right hon. Gentleman that the War Office are not going to use those regulations for the purpose of discouraging recruits?


That is the last thing we desire to do. Our object is to increase recruiting.

Major the Marquess of TITCHFIELD

Will the right hon. Gentleman impress upon the Secretary of State that the lack of recruits now is due to a great extent to the abolition of the bounty and the marriage allowance, and will he also urge upon the Secretary of State, when the Army Estimates come along, the great importance of giving back to the Territorial Force both the bounty and the marriage allowance?


My right hon. Friend does appreciate the importance of this question, and I can only express the hope that it may be possible to do something on the Army Estimates.

Lieut.-Colonel C. MacANDREW

May I ask the War Office to keep in mind the fact that the case of the Territorial married soldier and that of the Regular soldier are quite different and that it is an absurd argument to connect them?


We realise all that, and the whole problem will be considered with great care.