§ 43. Captain MACNAMARA
asked the Secretary of State for War whether the numbers of recruits required to bring the Regular and Territorial Armies up to strength in officers and men; and the numbers obtained to date for the new short-service reserve?
§ 55. Sir WILLIAM DAVISON
asked the Secretary of State for War the number of recruits which have been obtained for the new infantry section of the Supplementary Reserve with an initial establishment of 17,000 men.
The deficits on the recruiting establishments on 1st November were:—Regular Army—Officers 506, Other ranks 10,218; Territorial Army—Officers 1,854, Other ranks 41,984. The number of recruits finally approved up to that date for the new Infantry section of the Supplementary Reserve was 850.
§ Captain MACNAMARA
Will the right hon. Gentleman comment on these figures and say whether recruiting is going on satisfactorily for the Territorial Army?
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Would it be possible for the right hon. Gentleman to say from what districts the men come?
§ 44. Mr. LEWIS
asked the Secretary of State for War what opportunity exists for service in any branch of the Army for a man who, because he is over 38 years of age, is unable to join the Regular Army, the Territorial Army, or the Special Reserve, and because he is under 45 years of age is unable to join the National Defence Force?
Opportunities exist for the enlistment up to the age of 50 of a limited number of men for home service in the coast defence and anti-aircraft units of the Territorial Army, and for the enlistment up to varying ages of certain tradesmen in the Territorial Army and the Supplementary Reserve.
§ Mr. LEWIS
Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that many men between the ages of 38 and 45 on account of their service during the War are particularly qualified to assist in training recruits in various branches of His Majesty's Service, and will he endeavour to see that more use is made of their services?
§ Mr. THURTLE
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether these vacancies are open to Members of Parliament?
§ Mr. PETHERICK
Will the right hon. Gentleman specially consider raising the age limit to 45 in the case of those who served in the late War in order that they may be able to rejoin the Special Reserve of the Territorial Force?
§ 52. Mr. GALLACHER
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that an appeal for funds for an organisation terming itself the British Empire Union is being widely circulated; that this appeal is based upon a letter sent to the union by him thanking them for their services to recruiting and is accompanied by a copy of the letter on War Office paper; and whether this use of official stationery by a non-official organisation is authorised by him?
Yes, Sir. I am happy to have this opportunity of expressing my warm appreciation of the efforts that are being made by the British Empire Union to encourage recruiting for the Regular Army and the Territorial Army. As regards the letter, the hon. Member appears to be under a misapprehension. Official paper was not used, but a facsimile of my letter was prepared by the union at its own expense.
§ Mr. GALLACHER
Is the Minister aware that I got a letter from the union and that it is a copy of the Minister's letter, on official paper?
If the hon. Member got a copy of the letter I hope he responded to it. The copy of the letter was a reproduction of my letter reproducing official paper, and produced by the union at their own expense.
§ Mr. GALLACHER
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that as he represents the most violent Department of the Government I am prepared to reply in the most violent manner to the letter sent to me?
§ Mr. HARDIE
Does not the history of this House tell us of a similar thing being done by unscrupulous men for business purposes?