HL Deb 01 June 1954 vol 187 c1072WA

asked Her Majesty's Government what is the definition of illiteracy customarily adopted in the Army, and what were the percentages of illiterates, thus defined, among recruits admitted to the Army in the years 1940, 1945 and 1953 respectively.


A man is classified as illiterate if, as a volunteer for the Regular Army, he scores no marks in a simple written test before enlistment or if, as a National Service entrant, he cannot enter his personal details on a form when he enlists. Figures based on these tests of illiteracy are not available for Army entrants before July, 1942. For the intakes in the years beginning July, 1942, and July, 1944, the percentages were .95 and .7 respectively. In 1953 .9 per cent. of the National Service intake were classified as illiterate and no Regulars of that standard were admitted.