HC Deb 18 December 1968 vol 775 c1368
23. Miss Lestor

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the result of his further consideration of the position of boy recruits desiring release from Her Majesty's Services; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Reynolds

A great deal of ground has already been covered in the studies to which reference has already been made in the House, but I am not yet in a position to make a statement.

Miss Lestor

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind, while considering this matter, that possibly a more flexible attitude to the release of boy recruits might result in more young people being prepared to offer themselves for this service?

Mr. Reynolds

One can make allegations, statements or hopes about it, but one cannot have proof of the matter. However, I believe that we are flexible in the matter at the present time.

Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

Will the Minister, like his hon. Friend, consider a constructive suggestion from me? In order that these boys, in considering their future careers, may be properly informed, will the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues consider publishing the facts about manpower over-stretch which were published in the Defence Review, 1966, but which he refused to publish last week on this subject.

Mr. Reynolds

I am not prepared to allow the hon. and gallant Gentleman to pre-empt a Question which he has down for tomorrow by a supplementary question today.