HC Deb 03 August 1966 vol 733 cc460-1
33. Sir T. Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the estimated figures for recruitment and re-engagement, shown separately, in terms of man-years for 1966 if present recruiting trends continue; and what percentage fall these show on similar figures for each of the years 1964 and 1965.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

Yes, Sir. In general the estimates show an expected rise, but this must not be taken to mean that the present recruiting and re-engagement rates are wholly satisfactory.

Sir T. Beamish

Is the Minister aware that the 1966 Regular Army recruiting figures, in terms of man-years, look like showing a short-fall of at least 25 per cent. on 1964? Is that not a very disturbing side effect of 18 months of Socialist mismanagement and muddle?

Mr. Mallaieu

The forecast for the Army is that it will be 1 per cent. up.

Mr. Hamling

Can my hon. Friend say what were the recruiting figures for the Royal Marines in the last 12 months?

Mr. Mallalieu

They are down. The Royal Marines are the only category that is down.

Following are the figures:

Estimate for 1st April 1966 to 31st March 1967 Man-years Comparison with previous years 1964–65 1965–66 Percentage change
Royal Navy and Royal Marines 70,500 + 0.26 + 1.4
Army 181,000 -19 + 1*
Royal Air Force 57,000 +55† +25
Royal Navy and Royal Marines 21,000 + 7.75 − 5.68
Army 42,000 + 8 +15
Royal Air Force 37,000 +71 +29
* There is a slight swing from 6 year to 9 year engagements.
†R.A.F. recruiting was severely curtailed during 1964.