HC Deb 02 November 1937 vol 328 cc725-6
71. Mr. Day

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of persons who enlisted for service in the Regular Army for the 12 months ended to the last convenient date in the London area and Great Britain as a whole; and what percentage of such recruits were stated to be unemployed at the time of enlistment?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

The total number of recruits finally approved for service in the Regular Army during the 12 months ended 30th September, 1937, was 24,270, of which 3,385 were enlisted in the London area. Of the total number of applicants for enlistment during this period 29.5 per cent. were unemployed. The corresponding figure for the London area was 15.4 per cent.

Mr. Day

Have all those who have not been accepted had their medical examination?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

Yes, Sir. Every recruit is subject to a medical examination. But this question refers to the number of unemployed persons who have applied, and the hon. Gentleman will see that the vast majority of applicants for entry into the British Army are leaving other employment in order to do so.

Mr. Lawson

Is he satisfied that the changes made recently are improving enlistment?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

Yes, Sir. There has been a very considerable improvement in enlistment. In the last two weeks the increase has been about 80 per cent. compared with last year.

An Hon. Member

That may be the photograph.