§ Mr. Swayne
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons a number of commanding officers have been told that individuals who have given notice to terminate their engagement may be given the option to leave sooner. 
§ Mr. Caplin
As a result of the success we have had in recent years with various measures aimed at improving recruitment and retention, in-year targets have been exceeded and measures are therefore being taken to control whole Army strength. Commanding Officers have been told that individuals who have already given notice to terminate their service before 30 September 2004 may be permitted to depart early if this is acceptable to both the individual and the unit.