HC Deb 20 April 1937 vol 322 cc1559-60
6. Mr. Drewe

asked the Secretary of State for War whether in view of the present shortage of recruits, he will amend the regulations to permit a man serving in the Army Reserve to re-enlist in the Regular Army if he so desires?

Mr. Cooper

I have had this proposal under consideration, but as the purpose of the Army Reserve is to bring units up to war establishment on mobilisation I doubt whether it is desirable to deplete it in order to increase the number of men serving with the Colours.

10. Mr. Day

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of recruits for the Regular Army who have been finally approved during the 12 months ended to the last convenient date, and the figures for the comparable 12 months prior; and whether the establishment is now on a satisfactory basis?

Mr. Cooper

In the year ended 31st March, 1937, 22,802 recruits were finally approved for the Regular Army as compared with 23,298 for the previous year. With regard to the last part of the question, it will be necessary to recruit approximately 50,000 men if establishment is to be reached by the end of the year.

Mr. Day

Are there many recruits still awaiting their final medical examination?

Mr. Thorne

What does the right hon. Gentleman intend to do between now and the end of the year to get the 50,000 men he needs?

Mr. Cooper

The hon. Member knows of the reforms that are being introduced with a view to making the Army more attractive.

Mr. Paling

In view of the shortage of men, is the right hon. Gentleman determined to change his policy of trying to fill the Army by frightening people out of their wits?

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