HC Deb 23 May 1950 vol 475 cc1816-7
3. Mr. Nigel Davies

asked the Secretary of State for War what period of training is required for a National Service conscript before he is sent to Malaya on active service.

Mr. M. Stewart

All National Service men must complete at least 16 weeks' training and a total of 18 weeks' service before being sent to Malaya. They must also have completed their basic training.

Mr. Davies

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is grave anxiety among parents throughout the country that these conscripts should be sent to Malaya after such a very short period of training? Is it possible for steps to be taken to give them, say, 20 or 24 weeks' training in future before they go on active service in the jungle?

Mr. Stewart

When they arrive in Malaya they have four weeks' training before being sent on operations. Both my right hon. Friend and I are well aware of the anxiety that is felt, and if and when it is at all possible for an extension of the time of training to be made, that will certainly be done.