HC Deb 13 December 1961 vol 651 cc421-2
4. Mr. Ginsburg

asked the Minister of Defence how many members of the Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, respectively, were born in Southern Ireland, are citizens of other Commonwealth countries or are citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, other than United Kingdom citizens.

Mr. Amery

I have been asked to reply.

I regret that the records of the Service Departments are not maintained in such a way as to enable the information asked for to be provided without a disproportionate expenditure of time and effort to produce it.

I can tell the hon. Member, however, that on 1st September last there were 4,534 members of the Army who had been born in the Irish Republic, and 6,570 who had been born in Commonwealth or Colonial countries.

Mr. Ginsburg

Would not the information, if available, show a very impressive picture indeed? Has the Minister taken into account the psychological effects of the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill on recruitment?

Mr. Amery

I should be the last to to underrate the importance of recruitment from the Commonwealth or Eire into the Armed Forces, but it would be very difficult to get the detailed information because, of course, all those who are born in Eire or in the Commonwealth countries are not necessarily citizens of those countries.

Mr. Paget

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that large sums are being spent by the Ministry of Defence on advertising for recruits in the United Kingdom? Is anything being spent on advertising for recruits throughout the Commonwealth, where they are very much available?

Mr. Amery

There are certain agreements with Commonwealth countries whereby we do not, as it were, poach on their ground. I cannot give the hon. and learned Gentleman the details at the moment, but if he will put down a Question I will look into the matter.