HC Deb 03 August 1966 vol 733 cc459-60
32. Mr. Awdry

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will give details of the recruiting figures for the Territorial Army for the six months' periods ended 30th June, 1965, and 30th June, 1966.

Mr. Ennals

13,857 and 6,568 respectively.

Mr. Awdry

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is considerable anxiety that the suggested terms of service for the A.V.R.III will make it extremely difficult to get enough recruits?

Mr. Ennals

I do not accept that at all. Our impression is that there is excellent recruitment, or, rather, signing of declarations of intent. I believe that we shall have no difficulty in completing our complement.

Mr. Powell

Are not the figures which the hon. Gentleman gave dramatic evidence of that refusal of the Government to use voluntary effort which was offering for service in the Territorial Army, which is implicit in the Government's ill-conceived measures for cutting it down to less than half its size?

Mr. Ennals

Not at all. The right hon. Gentleman's argument is totally disproved by the figures for re-engagement of those already in the Territorial Army indicating their intent to stay. These figures are extremely encouraging.

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