HC Deb 24 April 1963 vol 676 cc197-8
10. Mr. Morris

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make a statement on recruiting to the Regular Army and to the Ever-readies.

Mr. Profumo

I dealt very extensively with recruiting to both the Regular Army and the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve in my speech in the Army Estimates debate on 14th March, and I have nothing to add to what I said then.

Mr. Morris

Can we be told what the present target of the Minister is for the Ever-readies? He had wide authority from this House for a ceiling of 15,000 men. Then we were told, in his last speech, that he would not have to go anywhere near that target. What does he want now?

Mr. Profumo

The need for the Ever-readies will vary from year to year. I am not prepared to lay down a ceiling, because it is difficult to say what it should be. At present the strength is just over 4,500. My whole organisation is geared to try to recruit as many more Ever-readies as possible. When we get near to what we regard as a practical ceiling for the time being, I shall reduce recruiting. I am hoping that the exercise now going on in the Far East may bring some realism into the requirement for the Ever-readies, and even stimulate their recruiting.