HC Deb 04 February 1970 vol 795 cc400-1
6. Mr. Allason

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the numbers on the establishment of Territorial Army non-combatant arms; and what are the latest numbers recruited.

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence for the Army (Mr. Ivor Richard)

The strength of the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve administrative and logistic units, at 30th November, 1969, was 18,152 against an establishment of 30,100.

Mr. Allason

Is not this a very serious deficiency? What steps is the Minister taking to put it right? How can he expect the Territorial Army to function if it is unbalanced?

Mr. Richard

I do not for a moment accept the hon. Gentleman's views on this subject. The Army has other reserves whose rôle is to provide individual reinforcements to make good precisely this kind of manning shortfall. I would remind the hon. Gentleman that recruiting to the TAVR has increased in the last year by 2,000 in precisely these administrative and logistic units.

Mr. Ramsden

Do these grave shortages extend to the administrative-sponsored units which used to form part of the A.E.R., and which were previously well recruited? And may we have an assurance that reserves exist, whether in the Army General Reserve or elsewhere, to make good deficiencies in the T.A.V.R.?

Mr. Richard

On the second half of the right hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, I can give that assurance. On the first part, the Question was taken to relate to strength and establishment of administrative and logistic units; that is, excluding "teeth arm" units, and those from Group B, University O.T.C.s.