§ 58. Mr. Leckie
asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the fact that the 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment returned to this country on 28th December after 17 years' continuous service abroad; what is the number of battalions now serving abroad which have been away for 10 years and upwards; and whether he will take steps, with a view to popularising the Army, to reduce the period of foreign service for individual battalions considerably?
§ The Financial Secretary to the War Office (Sir Victor Warrender)
Yes, Sir, I am aware that the facts are as stated. Thirty-one battalions have been serving abroad for 10 years or more. My hon. Friend will, however, appreciate the fact that during a protracted foreign tour the bulk of the battalion personnel is turned over several times, and the period spent abroad by the unit as such is no indication of the length of foreign service in the case of individual soldiers, the majority of whose total colour service does not extend beyond eight years as a maximum.