HC Deb 06 March 1951 vol 485 cc228-9
18. Sir Herbert Williams

asked the Secretary of State for War why his Department is employing over 200,000 civilians outside headquarters; and what is the precentage relation of this number to the number of troops organised in fighting divisions.

Mr. Strachey

The functions of these 191,000 civilians are described in Vote 4 of the Army Estimates. This is some 86 per cent. of the 223,000 men who my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence said on 14th February could be regarded as fighting elements.

Sir H. Williams

Does the right hon. Gentleman really think that it is necessary to have 200,000 bowler hats to look after only 50 per cent. more soldiers?

Mr. Strachey

I do not think that they all wear bowler hats, because a good many of them are Chinese and Malayans.