HC Deb 12 July 1983 vol 45 cc754-5
13. Mr. Marlow

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the strength of the Territorial Army in each of the last three years.

Mr. Stanley

On 31 March in each year the strength of the Territorial Army was 69,524 in 1981; 72,062 in 1982; and 72,805 in 1983.

Mr. Marlow

In view of the great benefits of the Territorial Army in increasing the available readiness of our armed forces and it also being a training ground for our young people which will set them up for life, will ray hon. Friend consider an even further extension of the Territorial Army?

Mr. Stanley

I am grateful to my hon. Friend and agree with him about the benefits of service in the Territorial Army. He will be aware that the Government are in the process of organising a significant expansion of the Territorial Army. We are well on course to achieving our target of a further increase up to 86,000 by 1990.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Will there be any cuts in the TA or in any other area of the Army's budget arising from the public expenditure statement last week?

Mr. Stanley

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will obviously have to consider the implications of the statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but he has not yet decided how the savings required from the MOD will be made across the Department.