HC Deb 22 May 1973 vol 857 c198
7. Mr. Wiggin

asked the Minister of State for Defence what is the current strength of the new units in the TAVR.

Mr. Blaker

At 31st March the strength of the new TAVR units which were formed on 1st April 1971 was 8,145, comprising 7,617 in the infantry units and 528 in the armoured car regiment.

In reply to a similar Question from the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton (Mr. Heffer) on 23rd March 1973, I regret that the strength at 31st January 1973 was overstated by 300. The actual strength at that date was 7,977.—[Vol. 853, c. 193–4.]

Mr. Wiggin

I congratulate my hon. Friend on the continuing success in recruiting into UKLF units. Is he aware that the substantial shortage of vehicles and radio equipment is having an effect on morale in those units and that it will not be possible to maintain their efficiency unless he is able to bring these deficiencies up to strength?

Mr. Blaker

I note what my hon. Friend has said about the continuing move forward in recruiting. With regard to equipment, my information is that units are fully equipped to scale, including radios, except for a shortage of Land Rovers. As to the shortage of Land Rovers, pressure on vehicles because of activities in Northern Ireland is being felt throughout the Army and regrettably this being reflected in TAVR.