HC Deb 01 June 1954 vol 528 cc1067-8
32. Mr. Alport

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware of the inconvenience caused to employers and employees by the late notification of the dates of Territorial Army annual camps; and whether in future it will be possible for this information to be given before 1st January of each year.

Mr. J. R. H. Hutchison

Yes, Sir, and we do try to notify the dates early in the year, giving as much notice as possible and at least 50 days. It is not, however, practicable to notify all the dates as early as 1st January, since difficulties are bound to arise in some units.

Mr. Alport

Is my hon. Friend aware that many firms make up their holiday rosters very early in the year—in many cases before January—and that if it is possible to give earlier information than is the case at present, it would be to the great benefit of management and employees alike?

Mr. Hutchison

We realise that, and, broadly speaking, units try to get their notices out as soon as possible in the New Year. I shall, however, be glad to look into any case which my hon. Friend cares to put before me and where he considers that difficulties have occurred. But, when we have incidents such as those in British Guiana and Kenya occurring, it must disrupt the programme and it may be impossible to say early in the year exactly what Regular troops will be available to help in the training.

Commander Donaldson

Is my hon. Friend aware that there was considerable disturbance in South-East Scotland Territorial camps this year and will he give an assurance that next year as early notice as possible will be given of the dates of these camps which come under Scottish Command?

Mr. Hutchison

Yes, Sir.