HC Deb 12 February 1980 vol 978 cc562-3W
18. Mr. Marlow

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what are the numbers and categories of Army Reservists; how these figures compare for the past three years; and if he is satisfied with levels of recruitment.

Mr. Hayhoe

The Army's reserves comprise the Regular Reserves, consisting of the Regular Army Reserve of Officers, the Regular Reserve, the Long Term Reserve and Army Pensioners, and the volunteer reserves, consisting of the Territorial Army and the Ulster Defence Regiment. The strength of the Territorial Army at 31 December 1979 and the three previous years was:

31 December 1976 60,100
31 December 1977 60,700
31 December 1978 58,900
31 December 1979 61,900

Since the increased bounties and other charges arising out of the Shapland report were announced in August 1979 TA strengths have risen by about 2,500, reflecting improved levels of recruitment and retention. I am confident that satisfactory progress will continue to be made.

The strength of the Ulster Defence Regiment—excluding Regular Army attachments—over the last four years has been:

31 December 1976 7,600
31 December 1977 7,800
31 December 1978 7,700
31 December 1979 7,400

Recruitment to the permanent cadre continues to be very satisfactory, but part-time recruitment, although it remains buoyant, has been insufficient to replace outflow.

The Army Regular Reserves comprise ex-Service men with a reserve liability in the following categories: Regular Army Reserve of Officers, the Regular Reserve, the Long Term Reserve and Army Pensioners. Total strengths for the last four years have been:

31 December 1976 110,000
31 December 1977 116,500
31 December 1978 125,000
31 December 1979 131,500