§ 10. Sir I. Fraser
asked the Secretary of State for War, whether he will give the latest figures for the progress of recruiting for the Regular Army and the Territorial Army, respectively, compared with the figures of the corresponding period of a year ago.
§ Mr. Head
During the first four months of this year, 18,306 men undertook Regular engagements with the active Army, compared with 9,981 during the corresponding months of 1951. Of these, 14,821 and 7,613 respectively were recruited direct from civil life.
In the same period this year voluntary enlistments by men into the Territorial Army numbered 11,094 compared with 6,568 in the corresponding months of 1132 1951. Of these, 4,403 and 5,003 respectively were direct from civil life, the remainder being voluntary engagements by National Service men during their part-time service.
§ Sir I. Fraser
Can the right hon. Gentleman say what proportion of the Territorial Army are volunteers and what proportion are National Service men?
§ Mr. Shinwell
Is not that the crux of the matter? Why does the right hon. Gentleman boast about these figures when he well knows that a large intake to the Territorial Army comes from the Reservists—the men who have undergone their National Service and now undertake Territorial Service liability? Is not he also aware that of the 18,000 men who have been voluntarily recruited, a large number have been recruited under the short service engagement, which was not in operation last year?
§ Mr. Head
I am not boasting about these figures. I am surprised that the right hon. Gentleman is not more pleased to hear them. They would have been even more satisfactory to the British Army had the short service engagement been brought in a year or so before. With regard to the Territorial Army, I would point out to the right hon. Gentleman that I stated that the total numbers in round figures were 11,000 compared with 6,000 before and, of those, 5,000 in 1951 and 4,000 in this year were from civil life, the remainder being voluntary engagements by National Service men during their part-time service. I think that answers the right hon. Gentleman's comment.
§ Mr. D. Brook
Can the right hon. Gentleman say what influence the unemployment figures have had on recruiting in the last few months?
§ Sir H. Williams
Would my right hon. Friend ask the hon. Lady the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mrs. Mann) if she is aware that the cost of nylons has fallen heavily during the past few weeks?