HC Deb 22 March 1938 vol 333 cc975-6
13. Sir A. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for War by what number the Army was under establishment on 31st March, 1937; by what number it is estimated it will be short of establishment at the end of the present month; and whether, in view of the expected transfer to the Reserve of 32,000 men in the next financial year, he is of opinion that the additional inducements offered will fill up the cadres?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

On 31st March, 1937, the Regular Army was deficient of 13,425 officers and men. On 1st April, 1937, there was an increase of 10,500 in the establishment and it is estimated that the shortage at the end of this month will be about 23,200.

Sir A. Knox

In view of the fact that 32,000 men are due to leave for the Reserve in the coming financial year, does not the right hon. Gentleman consider it will be very difficult to fill up the cadres, as there will be a shortage of 54,000?

Mr. Hore-Belisha

I do not take that view. If my hon. and gallant Friend will put down this question in a year's time we shall know which is the correct answer.