HC Deb 07 November 1950 vol 480 cc751-2
19. Mr. Vane

asked The Secretary of State for War what opportunities exist for selected officers and non-commissioned officers of the Territorial Army to serve attachments with foreign armies.

Mr. Strachey

Exchanges of selected officers now take place between the ground forces of Western Union on a one for one basis, normally for a period of three weeks. These are, however, on a small scale and so far the scheme has been operating fully only with France. Few Territorial Army officers can afford the time in addition to their normal commitments, but the exchanges are not confined to the Regular Army.

Mr. Vane

Will the right hon. Gentleman try and see whether Territorial officers and N.C.O.s can be included generously in this exchange scheme? Surely in the case of operations it will not be possible for the Regular Army to provide all the necessary military liaison officers and N.C.O.s.

Mr. Strachey

The Territorial officers are included and have actually gone.

Mr. Heath

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many have taken advantage of this scheme?

Mr. Strachey

Not without notice.

Major Legge-Bourke

In view of the Minister's answers to Question No. 9 and this Question, will he see whether there is some way in which he can instil a sense of urgency as regards these courses into the officials both in our own Army and in the French army?

Mr. Strachey

I think they are well aware of the importance of these courses, and, at any rate in the case of the French the exchanges are developing fairly rapidly. In the case of other nationalities in Western Europe, the scheme has not really not going.

Forward to