§ 5.51 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask His Majesty's Government whether it is their policy to attach recruits from Wales to Welsh regiments; and whether, in the grouping of units for the defence of Britain, Welsh regiments will be allowed to operate in their own country.]
§ THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WAR (LORD CROFT)
My Lords, voluntary recruits who express a desire to join them are posted to Welsh regiments provided they are in all respects eligible and that vacancies exist. In the case of men called up for service under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act, 1930, postings are so far as is possible carried out in accordance with territorial connections. In regard to the second part of the question, I am sure the noble Lord will appreciate that the suggestion he makes presupposes a static defence for the Field Army which does not accord with our present strategy.
§ LORD DAVIES
May I ask my noble friend whether, following the precedent of the last war, he will consider the formation of a Welsh Division, which I feel sure would be welcomed and appreciated by the people of Wales?
§ LORD CROFT
I am sure my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for War will always be pleased to consider any suggestion emanating from the noble Lord. I think, however, that there will be great reluctance amongst the 238 English regiments and divisions to see themselves divorced from their Welsh comrades; but I will convey the noble Lord's suggestion to my right honourable friend, who realises that it emanates from an intense nationalism which we are pleased to see the noble Lord still upholds.