HC Deb 01 December 1953 vol 521 cc930-1
13. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for War why Army recruiting figures for the first nine months of 1952 and 1953 have fallen from 43,711 to 35,763, respectively.

Mr. Head

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to my reply to a Question by the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) on 14th July this year.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Are not these figures—and I do not see how the right hon. Gentleman can deny the figures for the year ending September, 1953—clear evidence of the present Government's dismal failure to honour their past assurances that they knew how to encourage voluntary recruitment for the Regular Army?

Mr. Head

The figures last year were an all-time record for the Army. This year they are not so good. If the hon. and gallant Gentleman knows the reason why, I should be most grateful if he would tell me. It is a topic of great interest within the War Office, and they are anxious to know if it is possible to make the position better. Although the figures for this year are less than for the preceding 12 months, they are far from being disappointing.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Will the Minister accept a memorandum from me explaining why the present figures are falling?