HC Deb 27 November 2002 vol 395 cc332-4W
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; [82128]

(2) how many personnel who elected for premature voluntary release in each year since 1996 were issued with a manning control warning certificate beforehand. [82129]

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.

Royal Navy

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.

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