HC Deb 06 May 1970 vol 801 cc386-7
9. Mr. Ramsden

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what was the peacetime establishment for male officers, other ranks, junior soldiers, boys and apprentices on 1st April in each year since 1966.

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

As the answer contains a number of figures, I will, with your permission, Mr. Speaker, publish it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Ramsden

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that until a Minister answers the question on this subject posed by my hon. Friend the Member for Worcestershire South (Sir G. Nabarro) the House will have no means of comparing the shortfall from year to year against the establishment figures and that there will continue to be concern lest the rate at which the Government are proceeding with redundancies is much too fast having regard to the present state of recruiting? Does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that the House should be given the perfectly simple information for which hon. Members have been asking?

Mr. Richard

If hon. Gentlemen opposite would ask for perfectly simple information they would get it, but if the right hon. Gentleman looks at the Question, which I have answered, he will see that it does not in any way speak of a shortfall. It merely asks for the establishment figures, and those I have given.

Following are the figures

The peacetime establishment for U.K. enlisted male officers and other ranks on 1st April in each year since 1966 was as follows

Officers Soldiers
1st April, 1966 20,300 159,700
1st April, 1967 20,360 160,770
1st April, 1968 19,820 159,180
1st April, 1969 18,889 155,111
1st April, 1970 18,300 148,700

There are no establishment figures for junior soldiers, boys and apprentices.