§ Mr. Speaker
Order. The hon. Gentleman's question is directed to the wrong Minister. That is a defence matter. The Secretary of State can be questioned only on the matters for which he is responsible.
§ Mr. Abse
May I ask the Secretary of State to continue in that policy, in order that it should be made clear that there is an opinion in Wales that the boys in Northern 716 Ireland should be brought home, and in order that they should not be exposed to the vicious hazards to which they are exposed as a result of the overbearing attitude of the hon. Member for Antrim, North (Rev. Ian Paisley) and his ilk, who are accusing the—
§ Mr. Edwards
I would normally grant any reasonable application for leave to serve with the territorial forces, and I believe that it would be the view of most people that it is right that the British Army should seek to maintain law and order in the United Kingdom, and as much in Northern Ireland as it might be expected to do in Wales or anywhere else.
§ Mr. Best
Will my right hon. Friend acknowledge the need to facilitate training with the Territorial Army? Is he aware that many young men who are married have to take time off their annual leave to go on a Territorial Army camp? Will he ensure that that policy does not apply to any extent in his own Department, and that members of it will be given additional time to that to which they are ordinarily entitled as annual holiday?
§ Mr. Edwards
The terms and conditions under which civil servants are allowed leave are laid down in the Civil Service pay and conditions code. Clearly, the drawing up of that code is not a matter for which I am responsible. However, I repeat that, when applications are made in accordance with that code, I shall be happy to see that they are granted, and to give every encouragement to military service of that kind.