HC Deb 22 February 1999 vol 326 c24W
24. Mr. Flight

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures he has taken to address potential overstretch resulting from increasing United Kingdom military commitments. [70515]

25. Mr. Jim Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps the Government are taking to reduce overstretch in the armed forces. [70700]

Mr. Doug Henderson

As I explained in my reply of 25 January 1999, to my hon. Friends the Members for Blaydon (Mr. McWilliam) and for South Ribble (Mr. Borrow),Official Report, column 4, we are firmly committed to addressing overstretch in the Armed Forces. We are taking a number of steps to increase recruitment to the Armed Forces, which continues to improve for all three Services. We are also making efforts to improve retention in the Armed Forces. Maintenance of morale within the Armed Forces as a whole is a high priority. Any decision to increase operational commitments will be taken only after careful consideration of personnel resources.