§ 5. Major W. J. Anstruther-Gray
asked the Secretary of State for War which branches of the Service the new short-service engagement of three years with the Colours and four years with the Reserve is intended to apply to.
§ Brigadier O. L. Prior-Palmer
Could my right hon. Friend say, if at the end of his three-year engagement a man is willing to take on for another three years, whether he will be permitted to do so?
§ 15. Mrs. Eirene White
asked the Secretary of State for War what benefits accrue to a man who, being liable for National Service, chooses to enlist for the new short service period of three years.
§ Mr. Head
Any man liable to National Service who enlists on the new Regular engagement of three years with the Colours and four years in the Reserve receives the rates of pay and allowances applicable to Regular soldiers, which are higher than those paid to National Service men during their first 18 months' service.
In addition, he is eligible for a longer period of annual privilege leave and, on completing his Colour service, he gets other benefits. He receives Reserve pay throughout his Reserve service. The National Service man during his part-time service is unpaid except when actually 191 performing training. Finally, he may continue his career in the Army and qualify for a gratuity or Service pension.
§ Mrs. White
Will the right hon. Gentleman see that the fullest possible publicity is given to these new arrangements so that potential recruits may know exactly what choice there is before them? Could he also explain why this opportunity is not available to the women's Service?
§ Mr. Head
I am much obliged to the hon. Lady for her suggestions regarding publicity. I hope that this new engagement will become widely known and it is my intention at a subsequent date to issue combined particulars with regard to conditions in the Army as a whole at the present time and the attractions which the Army holds out as a career. The question of women recruits under these terms was considered, and I can assure the hon. Lady that for good reasons it was not thought wise to proceed with the matter at the present time.
§ Mr. John Hynd
Are these men entitled to draw discharge clothing on completion of their three years?
§ Mr. George Wigg
Can the right hon. Gentleman include, if possible, particulars of what prospects these men have of obtaining commissions from the ranks?
§ Mr. Head
The opportunities of obtaining commissions from the ranks for men who join the Regular Army in this manner are absolutely open. I would say they have a very adequate chance of obtaining commissions, and I am sure the hon. Member will realise, from his own knowledge of these matters, that there is absolutely no discrimination against these men in obtaining promotions or commissions.