HC Deb 23 February 1978 vol 944 cc764-5W
Mr. Sandelson

asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware of the state of recruiting of the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve and of the need for more recruits; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister

Yes. The Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve—TAVR—would play a crucial role in the nation's defence in war, both in reinforcing the peacetime strength of the British Army of the Rhine and in undertaking tasks in defence of the United Kingdom base.

To carry out its role the TAVR has to be, and is, a modern, highly efficient force. It is well trained and, in general, issued with the same equipment as regular units. It is closely integrated with the Regular Army and training is carried out as often as possible with the regular units alongside which units of the TAVR would operate, including participation in NATO exercises.

The TAVR is, of course, a part-time reserve whose members spend two weeks a year in camp and give up many evenings and weekends to train. At present it is recruited to about 83 per cent. of establishment. In order to improve on this a major national publicity campaign, fully backed by the Government, will shortly begin. I hope that this campaign will receive a good response throughout the country and in particular of employers and trades unions, whose active support is vital to TAVR training.

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