HC Deb 03 November 1948 vol 457 c854
46. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Minister of Defence whether, in view of the present situation, he will reconsider the decision not to open recruiting for a foreign legion.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

I am considering with my Service colleagues the problem of the recruitment of suitable aliens into the Armed Forces and will bear in mind the hon. Member's suggestion.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In view of the fact that this suggestion, as the Minister knows, has been made in this House for the last two years, is he in a position to indicate when he will be able to announce a decision?

Mr. Alexander

The position is being carefully examined, including the specific proposal put by the hon. Member as to a separate foreign legion. As the hon. Member knows, under the present continuation of war-time conditions, we are still free to, and do, enlist suitable aliens. Until our consultations about how far the present arrangements are meeting the position are completed, we would rather not make any statement. I promise the hon. Member that the matter is being considered.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Will investigations include the possibility of raising and maintaining a Colonial army of adequate proportions?

Mr. Alexander

I have already told the House on a previous occasion that that is being considered separately.

Mr. Scollan

May I ask the Minister of Defence if it is not time that he seriously considered the whole of the circumstances attached to this business? We are taking second place to Yugoslavia