HC Deb 17 May 1961 vol 640 cc1356-7
20. Mr. John Hall

asked the Secretary of State for War if the 1st Grenadier Guards will be at full strength when the battalion relieves the King's Own Royal Border Regiment in the Cameroons.

Mr. Profumo

The battalion will be at a strength of just over 700 all ranks, which I am satisfied is adequate for its task.

Mr. Hall

Will the Secretary of State confirm that the 1st Grenadier Guards and all regiments of the Brigade of Guards will be up to strength in both men and equipment so that they will be able to undertake, at any moment, the tasks normally given to an infantry battalion in a combatant rôle?

Mr. Profumo

I think that is a wider question. Since I know that my hon. Friend takes a keen interest in this, I would not like to give him a snap answer. Perhaps he would put down a further Question on that point. What matters is that the battalion concerned is built up to strength, I think that possibly my hon. Friend has been misled by reports concerning the 540 men who sailed. That figure represented the main party. The advance party had gone on before.