HC Deb 06 March 1951 vol 485 cc220-2
16. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Secretary of State for War by what date he anticipates that warning notices will have been sent to all Z reservists required for service this year.

Mr. Strachey

The last of these notices will be dispatched by Saturday, 10th March. As, however, they will have been sent to the reservist's last recorded address there may be some delay before the warning notice is received in cases where the reservist has recently changed his address and the warning notice has to be reissued.

23. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for War whether Class Z reservists who are not being recalled for 15 days' training may volunteer for such training.

Mr. Strachey

Arrangements have already been made to call up the Z reservists needed to meet the requirements of units to be trained at higher establishment this year. Consequently, there is no scope for any considerable flow of volunteer Z reservists, but it may be possible to accept a few individual volunteers to take the place of recalled reservists who are medically unfit, provided they are of the ranks and skill required. Any such reservists would have to be called up for training in accordance with the procedure provided in the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces (Training) Bill.

I strongly recommend, however, that Z reservists who have not been sent a warning notice, but who wish to train, should join either the Territorial Army or the Supplementary Reserve.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

With a view to reducing, as far as possible, the number of 40-year-old men and men with five or six years' war service who are at present being recalled for 15 days' training, will my right hon. Friend pursue a little more vigorously the possibility of encouraging men to volunteer to take the place of these older men?

Mr. Strachey

If we get the volunteers, we try to fit them in.

41. Mr. Edward Heath

asked the Secretary of State for War why arrangements have been made for some Z reservists and Territorial Regiments in which they serve to attend camp for 14 days only, including travelling time: and why advantage is not to be taken of the full fifteen days' training period.

Mr. Strachey

All reservists who are recalled for training this year will be recalled for a 15-day training period, which will include travelling time to and from their homes.

Mr. Heath

Is the Secretary of State aware that in one command, of which I can give him details afterwards, instructions have been issued that training periods will be 14 days only, although the period is nominally—so the instruction says—for 15 days? Is not 15 days little enough time in which to give these men refresher training without throwing away one day unnecessarily?

Mr. Strachey

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will give me particulars of that.

42. Mr. Harmar Nicholls

asked the Secretary of State for War the number of Class Z reservists called for special training who are above the age of 35 years.

Mr. Strachey

This information is not readily available.

Mr. Nicholls

In view of the fact that it is likely to be a very small proportion of the whole, would the right hon. Gentleman consider, in the event of an emergency necessitating a general call-up, giving an undertaking not to call up men over 35 years of age in the first 12 months of such emergency provided they are members of the Civil Defence Forces?

Mr. Strachey

I do not think we can give such an undertaking.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In view of the fact that the then Minister of Labour gave an assurance in September last that Z reservists over 40 years of age were free to join Civil Defence, can the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that none of the men referred to in this Question is over 40?

Mr. Strachey

No, because the age limit is stated as 45. Although very few are over 40, the actual limit for Z reservists is 45.