HC Deb 04 December 1956 vol 561 c1021
5. Mr. C. Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for War the length of training which National Service men are now required to undergo before they are sent overseas on active service.

Mr. John Hare

Both National Service and Regular soldiers must complete at least ten weeks training and have been in the Army for a minimum of twelve weeks. Front-line units also undergo additional training on arrival in certain theatres.

Mr. Hughes

Is it not the case that many of these young men of 18 are sent overseas to theatres of armed conflict after as little as six weeks' training? Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that that is far too short a time and is causing widespread concern amongst many people, especially the parents of these young men?

Mr. Hare

I am happy to be able to say that the hon. Gentleman is not well informed on this matter. The conditions are as laid down in the Answer to the original Question. There has been one mistake, for which I accept full responsibility.