HC Deb 30 November 1964 vol 703 cc19-20
25. Mr. Scott-Hopkins

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the present strength of the Ever-Readies; and whether he will make a statement as to the future rôle of this body.

Mr. Mulley

6,297, on 31st October, 1964. No change in the rôle of the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve is contemplated.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Does the right hon. Gentleman intend these men to serve overseas? What rôle has he in mind for them in Germany?

Mr. Mulley

The rôle we have in mind is precisely that under which they are enlisted, that they are available at very short notice to reinforce the Regular Army for a period up to six months. If the circumstances were to justify their being called up for this purpose, I am sure that my right hon. Friend would decide to do so.

Mr. Shinwell

Would my hon. Friend be good enough to inform the House how much money has been wasted on this senseless project, and what this or any other Government contemplate doing with this force that has had practically no training whatever?

Mr. Mulley

I cannot tell my right hon. Friend without notice the exact sum that has been spent—whether it has been wasted is perhaps a matter of opinion—but I shall send him the figure of the total cost. I can tell him that the Reserve forces as well as the Regular forces will form part of the review which my right hon. Friend is now undertaking?