HC Deb 30 April 1958 vol 587 cc361-2
21. Mr. Wigg

asked the Secretary of State for War why he caused the 7th Armoured Division, the Desert Rats, to be disbanded.

Mr. Soames

The Army is being reorganised to employ armoured and infantry brigade groups as the basic fighting formations. Although divisional headquarters will be retained, and if necessary would command a mixture of armoured and infantry brigade groups, armoured and infantry divisions such as we have known them in the past are disappearing. Each brigade group will have its individual sign and the Desert Rat will be worn by the 7th Armoured Brigade Group, so that it will continue to be worn in the front line.

Mr. Wigg

While congratulating the right hon. Gentleman on that very satisfactory reply, may I ask him whether he does not think that it would have been far better to have made the announcement a month ago, and thus not have caused The Times and other papers to write leading articles drawing attention to the lack of imagination by the War Office?