HC Deb 20 December 1938 vol 342 cc2661-2
54 and 55. Mr. Errington

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) how many officers there are in the Regular Reserve; and how many of these officers indicating the ranks thereof, have had any military training of any kind during the year 1938;

(2) What methods are adopted to ensure that officers on the Regular Reserve, who are liable to be called up in a case of emergency, shall be kept efficient and acquainted with up-to-date military developments?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

The strength of the Regular Army Reserve of Officers was 9,915 on 1st July, 1938, the latest date for which figures are available. Any military training carried out by these officers is at present a matter of arrangement with their former units, and no record has been collated. The provision of training facilities for them is one of the matters to be considered in connection with Army Estimates for 1939.

Mr. Errington

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind the great importance of keeping these 9,000 officers efficient and up-to-date?

Mr. Ede

Does the right hon. Gentleman carry with him his right hon. Friend the Secretary for Overseas Trade on this Vote, and if so will he have the appropriate Section of the Army Act relating to mutiny read to him?

Mr. C. S. Taylor

Is any information collected from year to year as to the general health of these officers on the Reserve?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

I do not think so.

56. Mr. Errington

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the desirability of knowledge as to the continued efficiency of the Territorial Reserve officers, he will cause to be kept an annual record of those Territorial Reserve officers who attend camp, courses, or otherwise perform military duties?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

I will, in considering Army Estimates, see whether this can be conveniently arranged.

Mr. Errington

Is it not possible to do this before the consideration of the Army Estimates?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

My hon. Friend is asking for an annual record, and I thought that that was the most appropriate moment.

Mr. Errington

Could he not make a decision?

Mr. G. Griffiths

Is it not a fact that the junior Ministers wish the Secretary of State for War to be on the Reserve?