§ Dr. Julian Lewis
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what changes there have been in recruitment rates for(a) the Royal Navy and (b) the Royal Marines since the outbreak of the Gulf conflict. 
§ Dr. Moonie
It is too early to gauge whether the Gulf conflict has had an impact on recruitment to the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines since the process can take a number of months from enquiry to entrance and any knock-on effect would not be evident until later in the year. No candidates have withdrawn enquiries or 273W cancelled interviews as a stated consequence of the conflict and the flow of expressions of interest remains high.
The number of enquiries and subsequent applications to join the Service as Naval ratings and Royal Marines other ranks shows an increase of between 8 per cent. and 10 per cent. respectively on the same period for last year.