HC Deb 15 March 1961 vol 636 cc1369-70
3. Sir Richard Glyn

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will consider arranging for the despatch from command or divisional level of a letter of gratitude for past service coupled with regret at the necessity for the termination of their service to each Territorial who has to leave the Territorial Army as a result of the forthcoming amalgamation of Territorial and Yeomanry Units.

The Secretary of State for War (Mr. John Profumo)

I am grateful to my hon. and gallant Friend for raising this matter. I myself, and other members of the Army Council, have already addressed personal letters to every honorary colonel expressing appreciation of the loyal service given by all ranks affected by the recent reorganisation. I think I should leave it to their discretion to pass this on, as I am sure they would wish to do, to members of their own regiments and units who will be leaving over the next two years. In addition, I have decided to issue a special order of the day for circulation throughout the Territorial Army.

Sir Richard Glyn

Does my right hon. Friend agree that, as a result of the current amalgamation of T.A. units, a large number of volunteers, some of long standing, must be dismissed from the Territorial Army? Does he further agree that these unfortunate people not only lose the comradeship which they have enjoyed, in some cases for many years, but also social and sporting facilities and perhaps an appreciable part of their income? Would it not be unfortunate if the Territorial Army were to expel so many volunteers without some official letter of expression of regret from either the War Office or other official channels, at a time when the Regular Army is experiencing difficulty in obtaining sufficient volunteer recruits?

Mr. Profumo

I cannot accept all the expressions which my hon. Friend has used in his supplementary question, but it is for these very reasons that I have taken the action I have taken. I hope that that, together with what we have said today, will be widely known throughout the Territorial Army.

Forward to