HC Deb 06 December 1950 vol 482 cc366-7
Mr. Shinwell

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I should like to make a statement on Supplementary Estimates.

With the general approval of the House we have recently taken steps to increase substantially the strength of the Armed Forces. These steps included the extension of the period of National Service, the recall of reservists to the Navy and the Army, the retention in all three Services of men due for release from normal regular engagements, and increases in pay and other measures directed to improving regular recruiting and re- engagements. I feel that I should inform the House that, as a result, the strengths of the Army and Air Force will exceed the numbers which have been authorised during the current financial year and Supplementary Estimates on Vote A for these two Services were, therefore, made available yesterday.

We do not at present expect that the Navy will exceed its authorised numbers but, if necessary, a similar Supplementary Estimate for the Navy will be submitted early in the New Year when Supplementary Financial Estimates for all three Services will be required.

I hope the House will agree that it would be convenient to postpone formal action until cash Supplementaries can be introduced in January. It will then be possible to take all Supplementaries together. This, however, would be a matter for discussion through the usual channels.

Back to