HC Deb 13 November 1968 vol 773 c382
12. Sir T. Beamish

asked the Secretary of State for Defence in what respects the United Kingdom's military reserves fall short of present requirements and the target for 1970–71 when the proposed withdrawals from east of Suez are complete; what proposals he has for improving this situation; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Reynolds

We are currently reviewing the Army Reserves in the light of our future requirements. When the review is complete, I will be making a statement.

Sir T. Beamish

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that inadequate and rather complacent reply seems to show clearly that the needs of Socialist Party unity and the requirements of partisan political dogma have together over-ruled national security?

Mr. Reynolds

The hon. and gallant Gentleman can normally do rather better than that.

Mr. Ramsden

Are the figures for recruitment to the Reserves, which were declining when we last debated this, still showing a similar trend, or have they picked up?

Mr. Reynolds

I published some more figures in answer to a Question only about a fortnight ago. I would not like to say off the cuff what the figures were. I think that there was an increase over the figures published last month, but the right hon. Gentleman must have a look. I would not want to commit myself.