§ 45. Sir Arnold Wilson
asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence how many recruiting offices are maintained by the Army. Navy, and Air Force, respectively, and in how many cases are two or more such offices located in the same town in the same or in different offices, respectively; and whether he has had under consideration proposals for unifying recruiting offices in suitable cases in order to make it possible to keep them open on Saturday afternoons and at hours when offices and factories are not working and to arrange medical inspection at those hours?
§ The Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence (Sir Thomas Inskip)
The Navy, Army, and Air Force maintain 46, 97, and II recruiting offices respectively. Naval recruits can also apply at various Naval establishments. In addition as regards the Army there are 58 infantry 1745 regimental depots in Great Britain and Northern Ireland at which recruiting is carried out. Applicants for the Regular Army can also be received and in many cases finally accepted at Territorial Army drill halls. In 30 cases two or more offices are located in the same town, and in one instance the Navy and the Army recruiters occupy the same office. An experiment is about to be tried in the provision of a combined recruiting office such as my hon. and gallant Friend suggests. Meanwhile, the official opening hours of certain offices are being extended and arrangements have been and are being made to enable men to be medically examined after their day's work is over. In any case recruiting officers will always make every endeavour to deal with a candidate who expresses a wish to attend outside the official hours.
§ Sir T. Inskip
I hope the effect of this question and answer will be to give publicity to the facts.
§ Mr. Petherick
In view of the fact that a large number of men are refused to be taken into the Navy every year, and that they might, if their attention was drawn to the conditions of service in the Army, be willing to join the Army, will my right hon. Friend push on this movement for joint recruiting offices?
§ Sir T. Inskip
An experiment is being tried, and I hope that as a result of that experiment we shall acquire valuable experience.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider conducting a personal inquiry into the excessive cost of maintaining the recruiting offices?