HC Deb 05 June 1956 vol 553 cc850-1
7. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for War how many brigadiers are unemployed at this moment; and what redundancy he expects amongst Army officers in the near future.

Mr. Head

Eight, including five who were recently serving with the Arab Legion. I do not expect redundancy in the near future.

Mr. Johnson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is some anxiety amongst officers on this score, particularly brigadiers, in the event of the cutting down of National Service? Would the right hon. Gentleman look back to some of his speeches of less than ten years ago about colonial forces in Africa and employ some of the surplus officers and N.C.O.s in future in building up our forces in Africa, if and when the need arises?

Mr. Head

The cutting down of National Service would release a large number of National Service officers. As to the question about the colonial forces, it does not look to me, with short-service commissions and for other reasons, that that is a likely possibility in the near future.

Major Legge-Bourke

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is becoming almost notorious that an enormous number of brigadiers are doing trumped-up jobs at present in order to absorb a number of brigadiers becoming redundant, partly as a consequence of the winding up of A.A. Command?

Mr. Head

That is not true. If my hon. and gallant Friend will let me have details of any specific instances of brigadiers doing trumped-up jobs, I will certainly look into them, but I know of none.

Mr. Strachey

Do the right hon. Gentleman's answers mean that he sees very little prospect of employing these redundant brigadiers in what used to be their main occupation, which was becoming elected as Conservative Members of Parliament?