HC Deb 08 September 1942 vol 383 cc38-9
75. Captain Duncan

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that there is no unit of the Army Cadet Corps in Kensington and the establishment of one is forbidden because the ceiling of 4,500 for the County of London has been reached; and whether he will forthwith increase the numbers of cadets allowed in London to at least the figure allowed for the Air Training Corps?

100. Sir William Davison

asked the Secretary of State for War to what extent the refusal of an application asking that a new company of the Army Cadet Corps might be formed in Kensington, as a number of Kensington boys are anxious to join such a corps was due to the fact that uniform was not available; and whether, in order not to discourage boys who are anxious to become cadets, arrangements will be made for the approval of additional units with official brassards in lieu of uniform, pending the time when the proper uniform can be supplied?

Sir J. Grigg

I understand that the County of London Cadet Committee, who would be responsible for the organisation and administration of a unit in Kensington, have never been asked to start one there. They could not now do so for the reason mentioned in the former Question. Not only the supply position but also the difficulty of finding and training a sufficient number of suitable leaders is a limiting factor upon the size of the Army Cadet Force, which would make difficult the adoption of the suggestion of my hon. Friend the Member for South Kensington (Sir W. Davison). I am, however, keeping the position constantly under review.

Captain Duncan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that all the difficulties mentioned by him could be easily got over, and will he reconsider the position so far as Kensington is concerned?

Sir J. Grigg

I do not think that is the case. I do not think that Kensington can of its own volition solve the problem of finding uniforms and equipment.

Sir W. Davison

Is it not a great pity to damp down the keenness of these boys? Could not some form of brassard be given to them pending equipment being available? How is it that the Air Training Corps can have some 20,000 to 30,000 boys and still be willing to take them on?

Sir J. Grigg

My information is that it would be a bad thing to form units in advance of the availability of equipment and uniforms.

Sir W. Davison

The Air Training Corps have some 30,000 boys and equipment and uniform are available for them.

Sir Joseph Lamb

Is it not a much worse thing to damp down the enthusiasm of the youths in this case?

Sir W. Davison

Will this matter be reconsidered in the near future?