§ Mr. Keetch
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many members of(a) the Army, (b) the Royal Navy and (c) the Royal Air Force have been subject to a manning control review in each of the last 15 years; in which regiments of the armed forces the policy of manning control has been practised over the past 15 years; and what the (i) start and (ii) end dates of the policy were; 
(2) how many personnel who elected for premature voluntary release in each year since 1996 were issued with a manning control warning certificate beforehand. 
§ Mr. Ingram
[holding answer 25 November 2002]: The Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force have distinctive manning policies that are designed to meet their different requirements. The hon. Member's question relates to the Army's practice for its non-commissioned personnel and can only be answered specifically for the Army. I shall, however, also outline the nearest equivalent Royal Navy and Royal Air Force procedures.
I refer the hon Member to the answer given on 7 May 2002, (Official Report, column 41) which reported the Army figures for the last five years for those discharged following Manning Control review. The number of soldiers in the Army who have been discharged under Queen's Regulations paragraph 9.413 'Not required for a full army career in each of the last 15 calendar years and by regiment following a Manning Control Point review is summarised in Tables 1 and 2 respectively.
Table 1:Army Manning Control Point discharges by year Year Number MCP 1988 492 1989 467 1990 140 1991 100 1992 331 1993 157 1994 14 1995 7 1996 202 1997 231 1998 175 1999 93 2000 66 2001 47 2002 3 Total: 2,525
Table 2 Army Manning Control Point discharges by Corps and
Regiment Total Queen's Own Hussars 5 Queen's Royal Irish Hussars 5 13th /l8th Hussars 9 Royal Tank Regiment 16 Royal Artillery 234 Royal Engineers 300 Royal Signals 216 Grenadier Guards 27 Coldstream Guards 21 Scots Guards 8 Welsh Guards 9 Royal Scots 16 Royal Highland Fusiliers 40 King's Own Scottish Borderers 9 Black Watch 23 Queen's Own Highlanders 13 The Highland Regiment 17 The Gordon Highlanders 20 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 27 Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment 28 The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 26 Royal Anglian 18 King's Own Royal Border Regiment 23 The King's Regiment 22 Prince of Wales Own 31 Green Howards 35 The Royal Irish Regiment 50 Royal Irish (Home Service Full Time) 27 Queen's Lancashire Regiment 36 Duke of Wellington's Regiment 22 Devon and Dorset Regiment 26 The Cheshire Regiment 21 Royal Welsh Fusiliers 29 Royal Regiment of Wales 16 Gloucestershire Regiment 15 The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment 15 The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment 16 The Royal Hampshire Regiment 13 The Staffordshire Regiment 47 The Light Infantry 31 The Royal Green Jackets 21 The Parachute Regiment 12 Army Air Corps 24 Royal Logistics Corps 79 Royal Corps of Transport 169 Royal Army Medical Corps 43 Royal Army Ordnance Corps 78 Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 352 Royal Army Veterninary Corps 7 Royal Pioneer Corps 11 Intelligence Corps 6 Army Catering Corps 82 Corps of Army Music 6 Women's Royal Army Corps 13 Adjutant General's Corps (Staff and Personnel Corps) 19 Adjutant General's Corps (Provost) 5 Others 36 Total: 2,525
While it is not possible to pinpoint the start date, research of the regulations has shown that Army Manning Control policy has been extant since at least 1952. Although the policy remains in being, as the statistics show, manning control points are used infrequently in the current manning climate.
The information requested concerning the number of Army personnel who elected for Premature Voluntary Release in each year since 1996 and who were issued with a manning control warning certificate beforehand is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.334W
Royal Naval Ratings and RM other ranks are normally engaged on a 22-year open engagement, which may be curtailed for reasons of inadequate performance or conduct, or reduced employability for medical reasons. RN Ratings and RM other ranks may apply to extend their service beyond 22 years and will be allowed to do so when there is a service requirement. The Royal Navy does not apply a "manning control review" to ratings but its manning levels and rates of premature voluntary release are continuously monitored, and recruiting, training and promotion targets are set accordingly.
Royal Air Force
Non-commissioned engagements in the Royal Air Force are normally offered for an initial period of nine years. Individuals may apply to extend their service to a total of 12 or 15 years and will be allowed to do so when there is a Service requirement. Any further service above this is linked to promotion, for example service to 22 years is possible on promotion to corporal.