HC Deb 13 November 1968 vol 773 c401
37. Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how the present male adult strength of the Royal Navy compares with the strength in November, 1964.

Dr. David Owen

The adult male strength of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines at the 1st October, 1968, and 1964 was 80,870 and 84,570 respectively.

Rear-Admiral Morgan Giles

Observing what General Lemnitzer said yesterday about complacency in N.A.T.O. leading to a situation where we seem to invite aggression, will the hon. Gentleman consult his right hon. Friend who is engaged in discussions at the moment, to see whether the Government should overhaul their entire policy and stop reducing the strength of the Royal Navy and other forces?

Dr. Owen

As the hon. and gallant Gentleman will know the planned reduction under Vote A over the period 1964–65 and 1968–69 is of the order of 5,000. Strengths have fallen faster than planned due to severe shortfalls in recruiting.