§ Mr. Callaghan
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence what are the additional periods of service now required from Regular sailors, soldiers and airmen, respectively, at the end of their normal engagements; and when it is expected that these arrangements will be brought to an end.
§ Mr. Birch
Eighteen months, 15 months and 12 months for the Navy, Army and Air Force, respectively. As I explained in reply to the hon. Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas), on 7th May, it is intended to reduce the period progressively until by September, 1953, no man will be retained in the Army or Air Force beyond the end of his normal engagement. As regards the Navy, it is hoped progressively to reduce the length of retention from 1953, but it is not yet possible to state when all retentions will cease.