HC Deb 11 February 1943 vol 386 cc1440-1
47. Mr. Bartlett

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the amalgamation of the Sea Cadet Corps, the Army Cadet Force and the Air Training Corps into a United Services Training Corps under a single administration with a common age of entry which shall be not later than the statutory school-leaving age?

Mr. Attlee

There are practical objections to the proposal. Pre-Service Cadet organisations exist in great measure to meet the needs of Service Departments and must therefore be managed by them. Furthermore, cadets enrol voluntarily, and I am doubtful whether a common service or a common uniform would appeal to them as the service uniforms do now. But I agree that it is important that a high degree of common practice should be aimed at in the training of pre-service cadets, particularly from 14–15½, and that wherever possible, organisation and finance should follow the same lines, and that transfer between corps should be facilitated wherever it is of advantage to do so. An Inter-Services Cadet Committee exists to secure the greatest possible measure of co-ordination on these lines.

Mr. Bartlett

Will the right hon. Gentleman see to it that the Inter-Services Committee has rather more power, because is it not-a fact that a great many regional organisers of these services want amalgamation and believe that it would be in the interests of the training?

Mr. Attlee

I am not aware of that.