HC Deb 24 November 1965 vol 721 cc498-9
24. Sir T. Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many Regular Army officers and non-commissioned officers, shown separately, would be prematurely retired as a result of the reorganisation of the reserve forces as at present proposed; what proposals he has for terms of compensation; and what account he has taken of these factors in his recruiting policy, in order to achieve his stated target of 181,100 Regular all ranks.

Mr. Mulley

I regret I am not yet in a position to make a statement.

Sir T. Beamish

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it was said yesterday in another place that the large-scale Regular redundancies which will result from the Government's proposal do not necessarily mean that the Regular ceiling will be reduced? How is this equivocal statement to be squared with the firm assurance given to me last week that the target is 181,100 and that it is expected to reach this target next year?

Mr. Mulley

I can confirm that the target remains at 181,100, but quite clearly in the defence review all aspects of defence policy are under study. I would not necessarily say that the target would remain exactly tomorrow what it is today.

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