HC Deb 20 June 1938 vol 337 cc703-4
64. Sir Smedley Crooke

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that many ex-service men who had completed their colour service still feel that they were wronged by the economy cuts of 1933, and that those completing their reserve period were then informed that re-engagement was impossible owing to the fact that the economy cuts were still in operation, and whether, in view of the necessity of increasing the strength of the reserve forces and air-raid precautions, he will consider the advisability of removing these injustices, which would bring into service again those who are now much needed and are, by their past service, so well qualified for the work?

The Financial Secretary to the War Office (Sir Victor Warrender)

I assume that my hon. Friend refers to the economy cuts made in 1931. I am unable to admit the suggestion in the question that the imposition of these economy cuts constituted an injustice. Moreover, the reductions in the daily rates of pay of Army reservists then made have already been restored in favour of men who had enlisted before 1st October, 1931. Re-engagement or enlistment in Section "D" of the Army Reserve is a privilege and not a right, and the numbers permitted to join are regulated by the needs of the Army from time to time.