HC Deb 12 July 1955 vol 543 cc166-7W
94. Mr. E. L. Mallalieu

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will arrange to allow National Service men to retain at least one of the uniforms in their possession at the time of their demobilisation.

Mr. F. Maclean

No, Sir. I consider it undesirable that a large number of military uniforms should be released each year for civilian use. The National Service man is, however, already allowed to keep some clothing without charge when his part-time service ends.

98. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will publish a table showing the average number of hours during the normal period of the 10 weeks' training of an 18-years-old National Service man which are spent on combatant training and non-combatant training, respectively, indicating separately the hours spent on lectures, first-aid, education, sport, recreation, meal-times and any other activities; and whether he is satisfied that the time spent on combatant training and the use of rifles for fighting purposes is adequate for such a man to be posted to overseas service.

Mr. F. Maclean

Yes. The following programme is that for Infantry recruits. This training has fitted National Service men to play a distinguished part in operations in Korea, Malaya and Kenya, and I am satisfied that it is sound.

Combatant Training Hourly Periods
Drill 64
Weapon training including fieldcraft 238
Gas training 5
Physical training and games 54
Total 361
Other Training
Education 14
Hygiene 7
Padre's hours (voluntary) 9
Passing-out and other parades, tests, selection, interviews, squad competitions, pay, medical inspections, etc 100
Total 130
Grand Total 491

Explanatory Notes:

(a)Basic training lasts for 6 weeks and is followed by training special to the arm in which the recruit is serving. For the Infantry, this period is 4 weeks, making 10 weeks in all, and the above programme is that for the Infantry recruit. There are considerable variations for the recruits to other arms.

(b)Drill, physical training and games are essentially combatant training, even when weapons are not handled, and are therefore included under that heading.

(c) The above table includes no allowance for meals. Normally an hour is allowed for the mid-day meal and one hour for tea. Breakfast and supper usually fall outside working hours.