HC Deb 11 July 1962 vol 662 cc137-8W
80. Mr. Wigg

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will state the targets, in terms of number of men and dates, which he has authorised in connection with the recruitment of the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve, or "Ever-readies", and the number of men actually enlisted.

Mr. Profumo

The eventual ceiling of the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve is about 15,000 men. As I told the House during the proceedings of the Army Reserve Bill, this is part of a long-term plan, and recruiting should therefore be taken at a steady pace. Although no targets have been set for recruiting, I did initially impose quotas for the first three months, in order to avoid having too many annual engage- ments ending at the same time. The position at the 6th July was that 77 officers and 1,491 other ranks had enlisted, and the enlistment of a further 14 officers and 609 other ranks was in process. Total applications for the force have been almost 8,000; but a number of these may withdraw, or prove not to be eligible or suitable.

I hope that recruiting will continue to mount as the concept of this force becomes more widely known. Training for the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve has already been arranged this Summer; but in the early part of next year I am planning to exercise a limited number of "Ever-readies" in their rôle as individual reinforcements in times of tension. This will take the place of annual camp far those concerned, and will involve flying them to Hong Kong or some other appropriate theatre.