HC Deb 13 November 1951 vol 493 cc793-4
9. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for War how many recruits for the Regular Army enlisted during the three months ended 31st October, 1951; and how the numbers compare with the three months ended 31st October, 1950.

Mr. Head

I regret that this information will not be available before about 18th November. The figures for the quarter ending 30th September, 1951, were 6,011 Regular and 279 Short Service engagements, a total of 6,290: for the corresponding quarter of 1950 there were 5,065 Regular engagements and 1,527 Short Service engagements, a total of 6,592.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister aware that a general in command of troops in Scotland said that the recruiting figures were worse than they had been for the past three years, and what is the explanation of that?

Mr. Head

I do not think it is fair to say that that is true for the country as a whole. If the hon. Member will study the figures he will see that the number of actual Regular engagements is up this year by 946 compared with the previous year. I am, however, aware that this question of Regular recruitment is one of very great importance to the Army, and it is my intention to do all I can to assist and stimulate it.

Mr. Niall Macpherson

Will my right hon. Friend endeavour to obtain encouragement and assistance in this task from the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes)?

Mr. Head

I am very much hoping to have such assistance from this House.

18. Mr. Stephen Swingler

asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he is taking to increase the size of the Regular Army.

Mr. Head

I am carrying out a thorough examination of the current terms of engagement and other factors which influence men of the right quality to enter and remain in the Regular Army.

Mr. Swingler

In view of the strictures passed by the right hon. Gentleman on the pay code produced by his predecessors, may I ask whether it is the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to produce a new pay code for the Regular Army?

Mr. Head

As I have said before, I consider that the alterations which were made to the pay code by the last Government were bold ones, and they have had a beneficial effect upon Regular recruitment.