HC Deb 26 January 1937 vol 319 cc748-9
40. Mr. Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the widespread dissatisfaction with the new scales of accommodation for the Territorial Army, he will cancel these scales and issue new improved scales?

Mr. Cooper

Territorial Army schedules of accommodation comprise broadly training, office and store, and social accommodation. I assume my hon. Friend has the last of these in mind. The provision for social accommodation in the new schedules is based upon wide experience of conditions throughout the country, and embodies many amendments and improvements made from time to time since the War. I have received representations from one quarter that the scale is not up to modern standards, which I am considering.

Mr. Duncan

Is my right hon. Friend really satisfied with a scale of 490 square feet for 185 men in one room?

Mr. Cooper

I have told my hon. Friend that I am looking into that point now.

41. Mr. Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for War what is the cost of the present arrangement in the Territorial Army, whereby men receive one shilling per drill after the completion of 50 drills, plus travelling expenses; and what would be the cost if these arrangements were changed so that each man received sixpence for every drill without travelling expenses?

Mr. Cooper

My hon. Friend is under some misapprehension as to the facts. Generally a Territorial soldier receives the following payment for drills and for travelling expenses to drills.

1. Trained men receive one shilling a drill up to a maximum of 30 drills after they have completed the 20 drills which are necessary for proficiency grant.

2. Both recruits and trained men are eligible for a refund of travelling expenses to drill halls. Refund is limited to 1s. for each attendance necessary for the performance of 60 drills by recruits and 50 drills by trained men. These drills include those necessary for the proficiency grant.

As my hon. Friend will see from the above facts, the suggestion contained in the second part of his question would apparently be to the disadvantage of the Territorial Army soldier, and I assume that that is not his intention.

Mr. Levy

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that, unless he makes the Territorial Army more attractive, he will not get recruits?