Skip to main content

Territorial Army

Volume 440: debated on Monday 21 July 1947

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

7.32 p.m.

Hon. Members on this side of the Committee have been aware that our time for this discussion is limited. For that reason, we thought it right to restrict the discussion to one aspect of the Army. We felt that, should we range over the very wide area of the Army as a whole, the discussion, in the short time likely to be available to us, would be worth very little. Therefore, we have suggested that this discussion should not only restrict itself to the Territorial Army, but, further than that, to those steps which can now be taken so as to improve the preliminary steps taken by the Territorial Army to ensure that the National Service Act should be made a success and that those called up under it, should be given the best possible training.

Before this discussion, we have had a very much more spectacular Debate. It seems very easy, especially so soon after a war, to disregard the importance of the subject which we are now to discuss. Indeed, there is every sign that this Committee, the public and the Press are likely to disregard the importance of the Territorial Army at a time when its claim to importance is difficult to exaggerate. The British public has a chronic indifference towards the Army. It seems to me, after a fairly long period in it, that the enthusiasm of the public and of the Press is excited only when the British Army is carrying out a major withdrawal or perhaps taking part in a victory parade.

There are many people absent tonight who will show quite exemplary interest in the Army should the foreign situation deteriorate in a marked degree. I, therefore, commend to hon. Members, to members of the Press and to the public that this subject has an importance which is not only exceptional at the moment, but far transcends any degree of importance that it had in the past. We should remember that the Territorial Army is going to have passing through it the majority of the youth of this country, and that it has in effect become a kind of university for the youth of England For that reason, should its reception ot, and its ability to look after and train, these young men be bad, then the legacy which the Territorial Army will give to the country as a whole will be not only bad soldiers, but bad citizens as well.

Lastly, I would stress, for those who are not impressed by that argument, that if and when the foreign situation deteriorates, the first sign will be that everyone will show a very strong interest in our air defence. I would remind the public and this Committee that our air defence rests entirely on the Royal Air Force and the Territorial Army. Seldom, if ever, has a small amateur body been faced with such a very big responsibility. I would like to devote my remarks to the difficulties and troubles which are likely to be encountered in preparations for the training of the Territorial Army during the next few years. It is somewhat paradoxical that, in discussing the Territorial Army, one should state that it does not exist today; but that is, nevertheless, a fact.

If hon. Members will forgive me, I would like briefly to state the background against which my remarks are made. The young men who will be called up for the Territorial Army will not be drawn on, so to speak, until 1949. It is only then that the tap will be turned on. When it is turned on the reservoir of that manpower will flow for one year along a pipeline which consists of the Regular Army. During that year they will be under the training and care of the Regular Army. Finally, in 1950, they will reach the next reservoir, the Territorial Army. It will not be until 1955 that the Territorial Army will be filled. For that reason, it seems to me that our discussion tonight may best be turned towards the preparation for the passage of the young men of this country through the Regular Army for one year and then towards their reception within the Territorial Army—for which purpose voluntary recruiting is now taking place—partly by voluntary Territorials and partly by the assistance of a small cadre of the Regular Army.

Let us consider the period when the National Service man, having been called up, undergoes his one year's service with the Regular Army. I hope you will allow me, Major Milner, to mention the Regular Army inasmuch as its effect upon this period of national service is indivisible from the future of the Territorial Army. One of two things may happen during the period when the National Service man is called up. He may be impressed by his instruction and by the discipline through which he passes, and by the efficiency of the Army as a whole. In that case it will be not only a good introduction to the Army and to his future as a Territorial, but it will also be a good introduction to citizenship in this country. If the task is carried out otherwise and the Regular Army proves that it is not running an efficient show, all that will happen will be that the National Service man will feel that his time has been wasted and that the Army as a whole is making a bad job of it. Not only will he feel that he is wasting his time, but he will get into bad habits and it is certain that he will work up a feeling of antagonism towards the Army as a whole.

I doubt whether any body of men has ever had a more responsible position than the Regular Army has in making the National Service Act work. I will say very sincerely to the Secretary of State that any economy, any stinting towards the Regular Army and their ability to carry out this task, will not only be ruining the chances of forming an efficient Territorial Army, but will also mean that he will be giving to a lot of impressionable young men the worst possible introduction to civil life.

What is the state of the Regular Army today? Recruiting is low. It is very stretched with its commitments for Imperial policing and for providing cadres for new training purposes. It will be even more stretched in a year's time when this task falls upon it. Furthermore, I would invite hon. Members to recall that no Regular officer is at the present time allowed to leave the Army except under very special circumstances. Cannot something be done to ensure that the type of man who is wanted for the Regular Army will be recruited?

There is one strong and lasting grievance in the Army at the moment. Were I the Secretary of State, I would not be happy until that had been put right. It is this. Some time ago the Adjutant-General informed all Regular officers and N.C.Os. that under the new allowances code they would be better off than they had been before. He did that in good faith and was assuming that Income Tax would become lower. In effect, these officers and N.C.Os. on whom the main burden of providing the training cadre for all the youth of this country will fall are far worse off than they were before the war. That is a tragic state of affairs. If the Secretary of State hopes to recruit the kind of officers and N.C.Os. he requires to deal with this very big commitment, I beg and implore him to consider that very seriously, and to put right the anomaly whereby a lieutenant-colonel with two children is £150 a year worse off than before and a staff sergeant with no children is £40 worse off. These are circumstances which should never occur when the cost of living has gone up and throughout the country wages have also gone up.

I would like to ask the Secretary of State one more question on this aspect. How long is the National Service man going to spend in this country during his training, and how long is he going to spend abroad? When the period of National Service was 18 months, then after a year's training he would have his last six months abroad. Now that the service has been cut to only one year, it seems to me, on the very restricted figures available to me, that a large proportion of his time will of necessity be spent abroad bolstering up the very thin numbers which are available to the Regular Army for policing. I feel that to send a large number of semi-trained youths out to occupied countries will be not only a very demoralising experience but, unless they are fully trained and disciplined, a disastrous experience for those young men. I most sincerely hope that the Secretary of State will tell us what his plans are about these young men during the period of their call-up.

The last point with regard to the period which they have with the Regular Army concerns their training. Before what I might call this "panic decision" was made that the period of service should be altered from 18 months to one year, there was some kind of feeling that the Territorial Army would be capable of producing some of the specialist units it was booked to produce; but now only a year is available. Does the Secretary of State really consider that such units as an armoured division, an airborne division and other specialist units can really be produced when there is only a year in which to train a man to be a soldier and to give him his specialist training? Can they really be brought to the required state of efficiency? If this is just a hangover from the old plan based on an 18 months' period of call-up, for goodness' sake let us scrap it and produce a realistic plan which represents what really can be done within the time available.

I now turn to the other phase of the training of the Territorial Army, namely, that period for which that cadre of Territorial volunteers is now preparing. At the outset I would like to express the admiration which most of us on this side of the Committee feel for those who have saddled themselves with the task of recruiting, organising and working this body of volunteers to do a job which every other conscription country in the world has done with professionals. We are, perhaps, the only country which has been able to do that, and I feel that this spirit should at all costs be fostered, and if the right hon. Gentleman lets them down, he deserves the very worst that will come to him.

I would like to discuss a few matters concerning present recruiting. On this side of the Committee, we do not know what the recruiting situation is, and I hope very much that the right hon. Gentleman will tell us what is the target, and also how it is being realised. Information available to us, which is scanty and somewhat limited, suggests that it is far from satisfactory. I would like to direct a few remarks towards the reasons recruiting is unsatisfactory and what can be done by the right hon. Gentleman to remedy it. First, there is undoubtedly uncertainty within the Territorial Army regarding recruiting policy. On the one hand, there are units which, acting on the instructions of the War Office, are recruiting cadres of officers, N.C.O.s and a few—if I may use the term—"old sweats" as storemen, which will be ready, as cadres, to receive the National Service man when he is called up. On the other hand, there are units going ahead with voluntary recruiting in an attempt to recruit an entire unit of volunteers so that it shall be entirely clear of the National Service men. There is uncertainty in the Territorial Army as to what the War Office requirements are in this respect. I hope very much that the right hon. Gentleman will clear up this point.

Secondly, there is also definite certainty among those who are attempting to recruit that many men are hanging back owing to their uncertainty concerning the annual camp. The Secretary of State may recall that before the war, men had their holiday with pay and their civilian firms also granted them leave for their camp. At the present moment there are many men who might join the Territorial Army, but they do not know the policy about the camp. Their civilian firm says, "We cannot tell you what we are going to do because we are waiting a lead from the Government." If this matter is left in suspense, these men will not volunteer. The right hon. Gentleman will be forced into a decision in this respect by 1950, because when the National Service man comes up, it must be decided. I entreat and implore the right hon. Gentleman to do a thing which is much against War Office policy—take time by the forelock and make his decision now. By doing so he will ensure that those men who are uncertain will know one way or another, and will know whether or not to join, but if he stalls and waits until 1950, he will lose a great many useful recruits for this very important cadre, the volunteer Territorial Army. I very much hope the right hon. Gentleman will take that view.

Every hon. Member on this side of the Committee is convinced that whether or not the Territorial Army really works in the future will, to a large extent, depend an its relationship with industry as a whole. I believe that one of the biggest factors in ensuring that its relationships with industry are good or bad will be through the representation of the trades unions on the Territorial Associations. They can do an immense job, or if things go wrong, in this respect, they can be an immense spoke in the wheel. I do not know what the trades unions think about the Army, but I hope and believe that they will learn to sympathise with its difficulties and get on well with the Army. All I know is that on the only occasion on which I have met an officer who has had contact with the trade union representatives, he described them in terms which I would like to repeat to the Committee, but owing to the somewhat eccentric habit in the Army of couching its endearments in rather obscene terms, I am afraid I would be out of Order. However, I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that they were most complimentary, and I hope very much that there will be the closest liaison and goodwill between those trade union representatives and the Territorial Associations because, without them, I do not believe that in the difficult situation through which we shall pass, the Territorial Army can work at all.

I have heard publicity criticised very much by people concerned with the Territorial Army and the volunteer recruiting. It is always easy to criticise, but there are certain aspects of the recruiting drive within the Army which have not been inspired, to put it mildly. First, the date selected for the start of recruiting was 1st April. Quite apart from the fact that that is not an inspired date, it seems to me that perhaps the end of the summer holidays is a better time than when the first green of spring is coming. However, I understand that afterwards it was postponed. Secondly, I have myself seen posters which I cannot believe are in the best interests of recruiting. One of them said—I hope the right hon. Gentleman will correct me if I am wrong—
"Join the Army and prepare yourself for a better life in the future."
I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that it would have been equivalent for him to have said at the last General Election but one, "Vote Labour and prepare yourselves for a Conservative Government in the future." I cannot believe that, psychologically or from the propaganda angle, that is a very wise poster. This is an important aspect of the volunteer recruiting. A noble Lord in another place said that publicity has been delegated to the Territorial Associations, but what reason have we to believe that there are people within the Territorial Associations who know about this very specialised subject? I have criticised the right hon. Gentleman perhaps rather harshly, and he may rightly say to me, "Well, what would you do in my place?" I would offer him one perhaps good, perhaps bad, solution; I would suggest that he should tip-toe down Whitehall, look in at the Air Ministry and pinch one of their head publicity men. They have a lot to teach him.

Passing rapidly on to another subject, supposing recruiting goes fairly well, then there will be a period, when those recruited have to wait nearly two years before the National Service man arrives. That is what worries me very much on this aspect of the problem. I entreat the right hon. Gentleman during those two years to consider these volunteers as somewhat delicate plants, to water them frequently with the things which make organisations like that go, namely, material, money, and so forth. It is my experience of the War Office that their habit, when they have got something going a little bit, is to leave it without any water for about two years and then suddenly to upset the entire watercan over it. I beg the right hon. Gentleman not to starve this small cadre, this volunteer cadre who will train the Territorial Army, until the last moment and then give them everything. Let them have a little now, rather than a great deal in two years' time, because that is what matters.

May I now mention briefly the things which I suggest he should give them? The first—and it is well known to the right hon. Gentleman—is drill halls. It is easy to stand here and say, "Give them drill halls," and I know they are practically unobtainable, and that there is an appalling housing shortage in the country. However, there are many bright improvisators within the Army and there is much surplus stores. This is probably a futile suggestion, but could he not get hold of the odd bits of Bailey bridges, some asbestos sheeting and corrugated iron bits and rig up something? Do not let us be hidebound by the specification which I have no doubt is within the files of the War Office: "Hall, drill, 1, 27 feet by 87 feet" or some such figure. Could it not be approached in an entirely unconventional way, somewhat after the method by which such problems were approached during the war because—I put it to the right hon. Gentleman, and perhaps he will sympathise with me over this—a Territorial recruit without a drill hall is like a politician without a platform—he will suffer both from depression and repression. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will do his best.

My next point concerns equipment. Anyone who was a soldier in 1935 will be solidly behind me on the effect of the lack of equipment with which to train. In a long military career, my only military success was enjoyed at such a period. I was put in command of a squadron of armoured cars, represented by flags carried in Austin Sevens and on motor bicycles. By the rather artful procedure of drawing from the quartermaster three times my true allotment of flags, and by using motor bicycles and despatch drivers of friends, I achieved a mobility and ubiquity which was the admiration of every umpire and general near the place. That is not soldiering but practical joking. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be lavish in his equipment of the Territorial Army, not forgetting that it has to be cared for. My last point regarding material concerns accommodation. Everybody in this Committee realises the difficulties we have in this respect, but there is one foundation to even unit which is trying to train men and that is what is called the P.S.I., the permanent staff instructor, the staff sergeant-major, Sergeant-majors are traditionally frightened of their wives. If you do not house them, not only will you not have them contented, but I am quite certain that hell will know no fury like a homeless, henpecked sergeant-major.

My last point in a rather long string of points which I have raised concerns money. In the absence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer—and I am not surprised that he is not here—I have to thank him for one small relief, but I will suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that there are others. I know that he is facing a formidable foe in "having a go" at the Chancellor, but I can assure him that a large number of hon. Gentlemen on this side of the Committee will be on his side and, if he will try one in three falls, they will stick out a foot on his behalf. I do not know what support he will get from the Minister of Defence who, I am sorry to see, is not sufficiently interested in one of the biggest experiments this country has made to be here tonight. Nevertheless, I would say that there are many officers of the Regular Army who never hated Germans in war half as much as they hate the Treasury in peace. I am not saying that is entirely the Treasury's fault, and I appreciate the fact of how short of money we are, and how necessary economy is in this country; but there are a few small things which could be given to this gallant volunteer force which would make all the difference. I will state them briefly as a list, and I hope that perhaps the right hon. Gentleman tomorrow will look up what I have said and give genuine consideration to meeting them, because the amount of money concerned is small.

First, there should be a little financial discretion to a commanding officer in spending say £20—at the moment he has to get Treasury sanction to drive a nail into the wall. The London allowance for these volunteers and Regulars serving in the Territorial Army is utterly inadequate, and should be made adequate. It is unfair that the subaltern serving in London should be out of pocket. The allowance for messing is utterly inadequate. Lastly, commanding officers and their messes are a kind of centre within their area at which people come to call to offer services—perhaps the mayor or the T.U.C. representative—and they have common or garden beer or pink gin. At the moment that expense comes out of the pocket of the commanding officer, and it is probably the most powerful way in which he can get things done. I entreat the Secretary of State to give a small entertaining allowance to these commanding officers to help them in this matter.

Few people have a greater responsibility, not only from the point of view of the Army but of the country as a whole, than the Secretary of State. When the National Service Bill was introduced, I wondered very much whether it was fully realised by the right hon. Gentleman and the Front Bench as a whole what an immense responsibility that involved. I was put in mind of a brother officer of mine many years ago who got engaged to be married. As custom was at the time, he went to the commanding officer and asked permission, and the commanding officer, much revered but somewhat pontifical, said to him, "I assume you have considered the immense responsibilities and implications of taking this young woman into your somewhat ill-nurtured and unprepared bosom?" That was a surprising remark to the officer, but I think it applies very much to the right hon. Gentleman. Has he considered the responsibilities and implications of taking the majority of the youth of this country into the Army? It is indeed a very big responsibility, and it is within the next two years that he can prepare for them. If he lets this opportunity go, and waits until the last moment, it will be disastrous. But if he does all he can to prepare for them, he will be performing his task and, "A stitch in time saves nine." Not only that, but always there is the sombre possibility that it will be not just "A stitch in time saves nine," but "A stitch in time saves lives."

8.4 p.m.

The hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head) has made an interesting speech and one from which we can learn. He made a number of good points, but he spoke on this matter as a Regular. It seems to me, as a Territorial, that he was regarding the whole matter from the Regular standpoint, and not from the Territorial standpoint at all. It so happens that the Regular Army, except in the rare instances where they have served in the Territorial Army, have never understood it. It goes without saying that the War Office have never understood it. In my experience the Regulars were always derogatory in their attitude towards it until they served with it. They regarded the Territorial Army as a lot of Saturday afternoon soldiers, which they were not, as we found in two wars.

One of the differences between the two Forces can be summed up in a parallel which a permanent staff instructor told me some years ago when I was a company commander. We were looking at an order which it was almost impossible to carry out, and he said, "The difference between the Territorial Army and the Regular Army is this. In the Regular Army if the colonel decides to have a parade on Thursday morning at 9 o'clock, he tells the adjutant who puts it in orders. Battalion orders are issued to companies and the whole thing works like a machine. At five minutes to nine the battalion commander mounts his horse and when he arrives on the parade ground all the men are lined up. But in the Territorial Army he cannot order anyone to be on parade; there we have to go and collect 350 bodies and persuade them to turn up, see to their feeding and clothing and issue them with boots, and if the parade is there at nine o'clock on Thursday morning, it is not routine, it is a miracle." The Territorial Army before the war had a spirit of its own. It was not a cadre and if the hon. and gallant Gentleman expects—I do not think he does—it to consist of a lot of cadres we had better call it something else, because it will never be the Territorial Army. The Territorial Army is a mixture between a good Regular unit and a club. The good unit commander has to think just as much about the social side of the unit as of the military side. Those unit commanders who were most effective before the war and wee most successful were those who were good at both, as one very often found to one's cost.

Big displays do not count in recruiting. The hon. and gallant Member referred my right hon. Friend to the question of recruiting displays. I do not think they are worth twopence. I remember before the war in a certain city, whose name I will not mention because it may not like it, there was a very big recruiting drive. We had no less than the then Secretary of State for War down, together with three bands and a thousand men on parade from all over the county and spent the whole of Sunday tramping round the streets. At the end of that tremendous organisation we had one recruit and he was turned down as medically unfit. There is only one way to get recruits to the Territorial Army and that is by the unit commander getting them himself through his officers and N.C.O.'s.

I see that the right hon. Member for West Bristol (Mr. Stanley), who was also a Territorial, agrees with that. I think the only way is to get to the street corners, if necessary. In the old days we went into the public houses. We should remember that this country fought its wars with men who liked a glass of beer, and some of the finest soldiers have been recruited from public houses. I would not encourage the "pansy" method that we must not go round the public houses, but only have the white-collar soldier. The white-collar soldier never fought in Wellington's time, and the old foot-slogging infantry with which I had anything to do had nothing to do with white collars.

I was not suggesting that the hon. and gallant Gentleman did advocate them, but the suggestion has been put up, and I am advising my right hon. Friend that these recruiting parades are useless for getting a lot of recruits. From the point of view of generally advertising the Territorial Army they may or may not be good, depending upon what the turn-out is like.

The hon. and gallant Gentleman has made some excellent suggestions on how to get recruits for the Territorial Army. In addition to those he has made, with which I agree, one suggestion I would make concerns food. We know it is difficult today, and I am making no claim that the Territorial soldier should be better fed than anyone else, but the food shortage is temporary; it will disappear long before the Territorial Army does. On a long-term basis, it is important to see that men in the Territorial Army who go to camp get the kind of food they like. I am sorry to introduce a personal element, but I have had some experience on the ground. I found that when I introduced what the Army calls "pansy" dishes, it was a complete waste of time. My men were steel workers and miners, and the type of food they liked was the type to which they were accustomed, the heavy type which hard manual workers get. What seemed to me in my ignorance to be good adjuncts—asparagus, etc.—were dumped and had to be taken away by the cartload, and I got a "rocket" from the colonel for wasting money on "such trash," as he called it.

We must also see, in future, that the men are clothed decently. I remember the occasion of a Royal visit to a particular part of the world in which I was, when one man in the guard of honour actually turned out in a pair of brown boots. That means very little to non-soldiers, but imagine the effect of seeing a man in a guard of honour in brown boots. That is the sort of thing which used to happen in the old days, and I hope it will never happen again. The cause of that was that the Territorial Army Association was functioning so badly that it had not provided that man with boots, and he had to wear his own civilian boots. Then, I would say that the places for the annual training must be chosen with great care, because in spite of all this talk about employers giving extra time for camp, it rarely happened before the war, and although it may happen in future, I am rather doubtful. In fact, for most officers and men the annual training is the only annual holiday, and a place has to be chosen in which they can have a pleasant holiday, and where they can take their wives. That may seem a queer way of training an Army, but it is a fact, and if we want a real Territorial Army on the old system, one has to think of these matters, and the place of annual training is of the greatest importance.

The last of the points I should like to mention is the important underlying necessity of getting the right unit spirit, the right Territorial spirit. There should be plenty of colour—if one takes away the colour from any of the units there is little else left—bands, flags, all that sort of thing; officers who are interested in their men, and plenty of opportunity for the men to become officers in the unit if they so desire. That means that the unit commanders have to get on with the job themselves. They have to select the right type of junior officers and N.C.Os., men who will be able to put over the type of instruction that is needed, and who will also be able to mix with the men after the day's drill is done, and have a pint of beer in the canteen or the sergeants mess. These suggestions may seem trifling, but they are not. They are important in the building up of a good Territorial unit.

That brings me to this question: how are commanding officers, unit commanders, company commanders and regimental officers chosen? As far as I know, no invitation has been sent to Territorial officers on the active list to remuster, as it were, for service. To me it is a complete mystery how the various commanding officers who have been chosen have, in fact, been chosen. I should have thought that the correct way would have been to circularise all officers on the active list asking them whether they were prepared to serve and then, from those who were willing, to choose the officers most competent for the job. To my knowledge, that has not been done. I was very surprised to hear the other day that a large number of Regular commanding officers have been chosen to fill commanding officer posts in Territorial units because there were not enough Territorials available for this purpose. How does the War Office know? They have never asked. They do not know how many senior Territorial officers are prepared to serve again. A good Territorial officer in charge of a T.A. regiment or battalion is far better for that purpose than a good Regular officer. I do not say that he is far better for any other purpose.

Does the hon. Gentleman know of any cases where Regulars have been invited to become commanding officers of units unless they have particular local connections?

The only information I have—and the Minister could confirm it—is that I saw that a reply had been given in another place stating the number of Regular officers who had been appointed to command Territorial battalions or regiments. I have forgotten the exact figure, but I think it was about 200, or perhaps not quite as many as that. I know that a friend of mine who commands a Territorial brigade has applied for Regular officers to command the units in that brigade. There is no question of the Regular commanding officer coming from the locality. I should imagine that it would be rare for a Regular officer to command a T.A. unit in the locality to which he belongs. It would he just an accident if it happened.

Finally, in regard to the administration of the Territorial Army, I hope that never again shall we be put into the position that we were in at the beginning of the last war. In peace time the Territorials were administered under an entirely different system from that which appertained the moment war broke out. Regular staff officers, high senior officers to whom I spoke during the war, expressed the view that Territorial officers were very good at tactics—in many cases they were better than the Regulars—but they were weak in administration. Since a number of Territorial officers were businessmen, chartered accountants, solicitors, and the like, it seemed extraordinary that they should be weak in administration. What actually happened was that the Territorial Army Association, which was never mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton, but which is the most important part of the system, functioned in such a way that it administered the units in its area. We were administered under T.A. Regulations. We were clothed and fed by the Association. A certain amount of money would, in addition, be given the C.O. in a lump sum, and he arranged with the local grocer or a contractor at a seaside resort to feed the men.

On the day war broke out the peacetime system was stopped and we converted to an entirely different system of accounts of clothing, rationing, pay and all the rest. Is there any wonder that criticism was levied at Territorial officers for being bad administrators? They were not bad administrators, as they proved later in the war. The point was that they were put in an impossible position. As in any future war, which we sincerely hope will not take place, there will not be a time lag as there was in the last two wars, I hope that we will not have this double administration which will have to be changed over at a moment's notice. I would like to know from the right hon. Gentleman exactly what part the Territorial Army Association is to play in the future of the Territorial Army, because, except from a general welfare standpoint, I am not terribly keen myself on its playing any part. I think it would be much better if brigade headquarters, or the equivalent units in the various arms, could have on its staff a staff captain to do the administration, and then, immediately war breaks out, there need be no change-over from one system to the other. The same staff officers would then handle the administration and the quartermaster functions. That is one of the main questions which I have to ask my right hon. Friend, and I would like an answer to it.

In the main, I think that it, in the various localities, the spirit of the Territorial Army could be fostered, we need not worry too much about the details. We put up with an awful lot before the war, but without the proper spirit, no matter how many drill halls and other things there are, there will be no happy and efficient Territorial Army.

8.21 p.m.

The biggest headaches of the Territorial Army today are, first of all, to receive proper recognition from the Government spokesmen—because the Government spokesmen never seem to mention the Auxiliary Forces—and, secondly, to find sufficient accommodation. Schemes are always being put forward to the War Office, but the delay is tremendous. We are supposed to he planning today for 1950. Therefore here and now plans should be completed and work about to start on building proper drill halls, vehicle sheds, hard standings, officers' and N.C.O.s' messes and so on. But, at the moment, there seems to be no Government direction. If a Territorial Army Association asks for authority for accommodation, they are immediately asked how many recruits have volunteered, and it is no secret that the reply to this question must very often be that very few have volunteered. The answer is then given by the War Office that the accommodation cannot be approved because the figures are so low. What is to happen in 1950 unless we plan now, and the moment anybody begins to plan they are told they can do nothing about it? If the accommodation is insufficient now, and if plans are not made to build at once, what is going to happen in 1950, when the first recruits enter the Auxiliary Forces and start to swell the ranks?

Let me give an instance of the sort of thing that has been going on for some time. Nearly a year ago, a certain Territorial Army Association asked for authority to purchase a house. The application had the blessing of the local military commanders, but, today, approval has not yet been given, and, by the time approval is given, the house will probably have been sold. The next step will, therefore, be, I suppose, compulsory purchase, to the ultimate disapproval of local opinion and considerable financial loss to the purchaser who was unfortunate enough to buy the property. To take another instance, all over the country, hutted camps and sites have been handed over to different Ministries without first finding out if they were suitable for the Territorial Army. This was happening last summer during the planning stage. As a result, today these camps are not available, and, even if they were, in most instances, they are quite useless because the timber and fixtures have been removed. This happened all over East and West Lancashire. Was there a plan as regards these camps? Is there any plan today? Are they being kept empty for squatters, or to swell the housing returns of the Ministry of Health? One is forced to the obvious conclusion that the Territorial Army today is suffering for the same reason as are so many of our poor people without houses—the futility of the Ministry of Health.

In several counties today not one single drill hall is suitably equipped for the storage of modern equipment, or even for vehicles. Commanding officers are not being held up so much by lack of training equipment, but what is the use of having training equipment if there is nowhere to put it? The suggestion I have to make is that instead of doing nothing, which is always wrong, let something be accomplished. Why should not executive authority be given to Territorial Associations, in conjunction with local military commanders, to get on with the job? Why cannot they be given a block grant compatible with their war establishment, and told to get on with it? After all, this was done with considerable success in respect of the Territorial Army in 1939, and also, I believe, with the Army Cadet Force in 1945. In other words, give Territorial Associations executive powers instead of the endless delays which are occurring today through approval having to be obtained for every penny that is spent.

As regards recruiting, there seems to be an impression that, if we cover the countryside with recruiting posters, recruits will start to pour in. That may or may not be the case, but surely the first rule should be to produce an attractive poster. There has been no lack in the quantity of recruiting posters, but I cannot say much of the quality. Take, for instance, the poster illustrating a man in battle dress, grinning from ear to ears fiddling with his gaiters. Very carefully illustrated in the background is a chair on which is placed a very smart suit of plain clothes, together with a shirt, a hat, a collar and a tie, etc. One's first reaction on looking at that poster is the same as we all had after this war. We say to ourselves, "Lucky man. There he is, taking off his battle dress for the last time, and about to put on that very smart suit of plain clothes provided absolutely free at the taxpayer's expense. Civvy street, once more," and so on. But then we find that the soldier is smiling, not because he is taking his uniform off but because he is putting it on, having been asked to join the Territorial Army.

Why not leave out the suit of plain clothes altogether; why not illustrate instead a man in battle dress sitting down in the mess about to consume a nice, large square meal that he cannot get in Civvy Street? Why not show him in the N.A.A.F.I., with a pretty lady behind the bar giving him the choice of everything he wants to buy? Possibly, also, there might be a sign with such words as, "No watered beer here," and, instead of, "Volunteer with me for the Territorial Army, nine divisions strong, with modern equipment," put in bold letters, "The same privileges as the miners." There might be some point in that. Give him an incentive to join the privileged classes, with plenty of good food and an opportunity to buy the many things the people of this country cannot obtain. Finally, as regards publicity, I suggest that what is required is a national drive on the same basis as the "Work and Want" poster which is displayed at every street corner—I mean "Work or Want." Money has been issued by the War Office for publicity at a county level but this is of little use without a national drive.

As regards the Army Cadet Force, the great difficulty is in finding the necessary number of suitable officers, the lack of sufficient staff and, of course, accommodation. The Army Cadet Force is entirely dependent on the officer with local personality, and in many cases it is very difficult to get hold of sufficient numbers. As regards staff, all that is available is an ex-soldier who carries out administrative duties and also the duties of training instruction. This overworked N.C.O. is, I understand, being withdrawn on 31st August, so there will be little left except volunteers and a Territorial instructor who will take over the duties of the ex-soldier. Incidentally, this Territorial instructor will already be overworked in his own T.A. unit. Therefore, in future A.C.F. units have got to depend on the local P.S.I. and their own N.C.O.s and officers of whom, as I have already said, there are already far too few.

To improve recruiting, improve training and, above all, to make an efficient cadet force. I would like to make the following suggestions. At the moment the A.C.F. is an entirely independent command. Why not marry it up, or tie it up—I have rather forgotten all my military clichés—with the Territorial Army? Why not make the local Cadet Force the fifth or cadet company in a Territorial Battalion? Surely, this is the obvious answer, because in time, fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, friends and relations and so on will all be serving in the same unit, and this should prove an added incentive to recruiting. If the call-up is properly organised, a boy joining the A.C.F. should be called into that arm of the Service which is represented in his own locality. He would thus be able to serve from the age of 14 to 24½, with the exception of his one year's compulsory service, in his local unit. Having raised a Territorial Battalion myself, I can say, from my own experience, that there is no greater incentive to recruiting than having local friends and relations in the same unit. Such units are always the best. They have a pride and comradeship which is unbeatable and certainly in Knutsford, was second to none. They beat all recruiting records in 1938. In that small country town I raised a whole battalion in three days, and had to stop recruiting, such was their spirit. The fact that the Territorial Army and the Army Cadet Force were under one command would surely mean easier administration, far fewer losses in equipment, and, above all, infinitely better results and less unnecessary work.

If this proposal were carried out, it would entail all sorts of details with which I will not weary the Committee. For instance, the Cadet Company would have to have separate social accommodation. We should not want these young boys to learn bad habits too early in life, such as drinking of watered beer, so deplored by the hon. Member for West Ealing (Mr. J. Hudson), or the smoking of "twopenny Daltons" so frowned upon by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. For some reason it seems to be considered that a commanding officer has no personal expenditure. He has just the same type of personal expenditure as is incurred by hon. Members on both sides of the Committee and by all types of businesses. But the snag is that whereas businesses and so on can deduct the amount spent on entertainment for business purposes for Income Tax relief, a commanding officer cannot do so. He has to pay it out of income which has already been taxed. Surely, that is not fair. Why cannot a commanding officer have the same sort of expenses allowance as, for example, the local Army welfare officer who gets £30 a year? The same applies to the second-in-command, and the suggested amount is £20 a year. But it is inevitable that a commanding officer who, during day time hours is engaged in earning his own living, will during his leisure hours spend money out of his own pocket to benefit his own battalion. For instance, telephone calls, returning hospitality from local government officials, formation commanders, and so on.

Finally, I come to the person who is hardly ever referred to. He carries the greatest expenditure of all, and certainly does as much work as anyone. I refer to the chairman of the territorial associations. In the old days these people were found from a section of the community that gave most of their lives to public work for no remuneration whatsoever. Today they do not ask for remuneration. Nobody ever hears them ask for anything except the benefit of the Auxiliary Forces. They are glad, indeed, to serve their country for absolutely nothing. But what does it cost them? Let us make no mistake about it: it costs them a packet. They have, at least, six general meetings a year and, in addition, 12 general purposes and at least 12 miscellaneous meetings. In the old days—or, rather, it is the same today: it is an old custom—on these occasions to entertain certain members of the committees to lunch, all of whom incidentally also work for nothing. On top of all this, a chairman has other duties, such as the co-ordination of the welfare services, Red Cross, and so on. On the cheap, counting every sixpence, and every incidental expense, a chairman is lucky if he is out of pocket for less than £50 a year. More likely it will be £75, and quite possibly £100 a year. This comes out of income which is already taxed. Cannot these people be given an entertainment grant? Some chairmen, no doubt, would not accept it. But, nevertheless, is it fair, is it right that the appointments of chairmen should be limited to the people who can afford to entertain others at their own expense?

8.37 p.m.

As a member of a Territorial Forces association I shall confine my remarks to one or two of the practical aspects of the matter we are discussing tonight. If the foundations of the Territorial Army are to be well and truly laid, the main responsibility will fall on the small nucleus of officers and other ranks who have already joined. My hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head), who so ably opened this Debate, queried the number who had already joined. So far as my own county is concerned, the number is very small, and I think it is in every county. At the moment we have—this is the latest figure—53 officers and 160 other ranks. But, frankly, I am glad the number is small, and I should be very worried, indeed, if the number were very large. But these pioneers, many of them, are men who were in the Territorial Army long before the war. They are keen; they are enthusiastic; and they are eager to get on with the job. Already, after only 2½ months of recruiting, one can begin to see signs of pessimism and frustration. If that is not very quickly changed, and if they are not given encouragement and facilities to carry out the training, there is a danger of their throwing their hand in, and then we shall lose the very backbone of this new Territorial Army. We must remember that the Territorial Army of the future will be very different from the Territorial Army of the past, and in two or three years' time it will be mainly of conscripts; and some of them, I venture to say, will be unwilling soldiers. For that reason we must rely on the volunteers for the success of the Territorial Army.

At the moment, the Territorial Army is suffering from a good many growing pains, and I want to refer to two or three of the more important ones. The first, on which almost everything else depends, is the provision of adequate training grounds. Last week I put a Question to the Secretary of State for War and asked him when it was proposed to provide training grounds and buildings for Territorial units. His answer was:
"As far as possible Territorial units will use the training areas allocated to the Regular Army. Where this is not practicable, arrangements will be made to provide sufficient training ground locally. Requirements for training areas for the.Territorial Army not exceeding 50 acres which do not involve the use of live ammunition or tracked vehicles will be discussed locally by Territorial Army Associations with local authorities in the near future."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 15th July. 1945 Vol 440, c. 212–31]
To my mind, that is begging the question. We know that a certain amount of training can be performed in drill halls and on open spaces. But where there are restrictions on training grounds agreed between the Territorial Association and the local authority that, for instance—I do not say no live ammunition, because think that is perfectly justifiable—no tracked vehicle will be used, how can they possibly train either an R.A. field unit equipped with self-propelled guns mounted on tank chassis, or mechanised yeomanry units using A.F.Vs.?

Let me take my own county as an example. We have a local field regiment of the R.A. which has two guns, both of which are sitting in a drill hall at the moment. If they want to move those guns out, which are mounted on tank chassis, they must get the permission of the police and also of the local authority. Since they are to be denied the use of those guns on any site which might be agreed between the Territorial Association and the local authority, what possible chance have they of doing proper training? My own local yeomanry regiment, which is mechanised and uses A.F.Vs., has been supplied with one set of driving and maintenance equipment, one set of gunnery training equipment, and one set of wireless training equipment. Now, there are three squadrons. All this equipment cannot be at one squadron headquarters, so they have had to divide it between the three squadrons, each part of the equipment is limited to the people living in that particular area, and no squadron can be trained in more than one part of the regiment's equipment.

I put no faith in this getting together of the local authority and the Territorial Association to find a ground not exceeding 50 acres, and so on. I think the answer is that there should be a centralised training ground in each county where the whole of the equipment, of all the units in the county if you wish, can be centralised, and where every branch of the training can be carried out, and to which the subunits can go for the weekend camps in the summer.

Is there no equipment for the Territorial Army to fight against the atomic bomb?

I am not concerned with that at all. That is a quite unnecessary interruption. I am discussing the practical problems of the Territorial Association.

Is the hon. Member suggesting that the equipment of each local unit should be kept away from the cadres of each unit, and centralised and maintained on one training area?

I suggest there should be a centralised training ground for all units in the county, so that it cannot be very far away from any one of them. The Under-Secretary knows that in many parts of the country there are redundant aerodromes. These are ideal as training centres. They have adequate messing and sleeping quarters, hangars to house the equipment, and, more important still, concrete runways, without which A.F.V.'s cannot be exercised. It seems to me that the Secretary of State for War should consult with the Secretary of State for Air to see whether some of these redundant aerodromes cannot be released for the Army.

My next point is on the question of the annual camps. I put down a Question last week to the Prime Minister, which was passed on to the Treasury. I asked:
"If it is intended to grant an additional holiday to men employed in Government Departments who join the T.A."
Mr. GLENVIL HALL: Yes. His Majesty's Government hope to make very shortly a general statement on this question of the holidays of those who volunteer for service with the Auxiliary Forces. This statement will cover the particular point referred to by the hon. Member."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 15th July, 1947: Vol 440, c. 21.]
I hope that the statement will be made tonight, because we must know about this point. It was not unusual before the war for a man who went to camp without permission to be sacked when he returned to his employer. I hope that we have seen the last of that. It is up to the Government and to the local authorities to set an example, and we should be glad to know what is their attitude in this respect. Can we be told what is the legal position of the man who goes to camp without permission? Is it the same as before the war and, if so, is the position to be altered? We have to give these men every encouragement to go to camp, and I do not want to see a situation where a man is jeopardised simply by going to camp. What is to be the attitude in regard to the nationalised industries? I know that the National Coal Board have refused to allow any of their men to join the Territorial Army. There may be a good reason for that, but we ought to have a general statement covering all nationalised industries, showing the attitude of the Government in this respect.

Then there is the question of the duration of the camps. As I understand it, for the time being the duration is to be either eight days or 15 days, which is optional. Most commanding officers are in favour of either one or the other; they would of course prefer 15 days. If the period is for eight days, two days are taken up in getting settled in, and two days in closing down, which leaves only four days for training. If the period is optional, we are likely to have a position where perhaps 75 per cent. of the men go to camp for eight days, leaving only 25 per cent. to carry on for the full period of 15 days. In those circumstances, one might just as well close the camp down. My remaining points are small but important. It has been laid down that the tour of duty of a regular commanding officer of a Territorial unit shall be one year. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many of my friends, that is not nearly sufficient. In one year he has just about absorbed the local atmosphere. It may take him some months to find a house, and it will certainly take him more than a year to get to know his unit as intimately as a commanding officer should. I hope that we shall hear something about that when the Minister comes to reply.

Then there is a certain amount of dissatisfaction with regard to the commissioning of new officers for the Territorial Army. Under the present rule, no officer can be appointed to the Territorial Army unless he has previously served as an officer. That seems wrong. Fine fellows who have become warrant officers, first-class non-commissioned officers, are, at present, barred from becoming officers in the Territorial Army. They have been given a sort of promise that some time in the future O.C.T.U.s will be set up, but we do not know the conditions, or how long a man must serve in such an O.C.T.U. If it was to be for three months it would completely rule out most of these men. I ask the War Office seriously to look into this matter, which is causing disappointment to many keen N.C.O.s who have joined the Territorial Army. One further point: Regular commanding officers, adjutants, and their permanent staff are being unfairly treated in the matter of allowances, which are based on barrack allowances. We all know how difficult it is, and what high rentals we have to pay, if we go into a strange part of the country. Yet these men are having to pay these increased charges, and in fairness some additional allowance should be made to them to cover the increased cost of living.

My last point is to suggest that when a man is called up for military service he should be put into the regiment affiliated to his local Territorial unit. If, for argument's sake, a man in Nottingham-shire is called up to the Royal Armoured Corps his local Territorial unit will be the Sherwood Rangers, which is affiliated to the 17/21st Lancers. If he can be posted to that unit he will have continuity of interest between the parent regiment and the Territorial regiment. Finally on 1st November the new training year begins, and I hope that by then the War Office will have organised a Department to deal with all problems connected with the Territorial Army. I hope they will not take the view that there is no hurry because there will not be any conscripts coming along until 1949. If they do that they will be starting off on the wrong foot, and no steps which can be taken later will retrieve the position. I hope that when the Minister replies he will be able to give me some assurances on the points I have raised tonight.

8.54 p.m.

The discussion we have had tonight on the subject of the Territorial Army has elicited a number of useful and constructive suggestions, all of which, I hope, will receive the attention they undoubtedly deserve. The hon. Member for Newark (Mr. S. Shephard) put his finger on what is a real difficulty in recruiting—the uncertainty about annual camps, and the effect which going to camp may have on the employment of recruits in the Territorial Army or of those who may be thinking of joining. Notwithstanding the doleful prognostications of hon. Members opposite, there are many people in the country who are neither civil servants nor local government employees; they are employed in various private undertakings. In many cases they find it extremely difficult, as it makes their future precarious, to get away to annual camps on joining the Territorial Army. I hope that there will be some kind of statement tonight or at a later date which will offer some degree of security to these men who want to serve, but who naturally do not want to prejudice their whole economic future, as may well be the case at the present time.

The uncertainty surrounding the whole of the recruiting campaign has had the most unfortunate results. It was due to start, we have been told by the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head), on 1st April of this year. For some reason, the opening of the campaign was postponed. There is a degree of uncertainty in a number of Territorial units as to what exactly they are to do about it. At the moment, vast quantities of paper and reams of instructions are being issued by the appropriate branch of the War Office to Territorial associations and to the respective units, all of which, I fear, are tending to bog down the prospects of an immediate or real drive in the near future. I will give one example of the kind of thing that is going on at the present time. I know of one anti-tank regiment quite near to the Metropolitan area—I do not wish to be more precise than that—where, so far, only 25 recruits have been obtained—eight officers and 17 other ranks. That cannot be regarded as a good example of a recruiting drive, nor can it be regarded as an incentive to those men who are working very hard to build up these local formations.

So far as the Territorial associations are concerned, I think that there is considerable room for improvement. We have heard that they are to be made more comprehensive, more representative of the interests of our social, industrial and economic life. I am wondering to what extent that provision has actually been put into operation. There is, I think, reason to fear that in more than one case Territorial associations have not yet got out of the old prewar atmosphere in which they formerly carried out their work. The hon. and gallant Member for Knutsford (Lieut.-Colonel Bromley-Davenport) made some interesting suggestions about recruiting. Recruitment does not depend on posters or parades. He suggested that more recruits might be obtained for T.A. units if one of the inducements was to show on the posters an attractive girl serving behind a N.A.A.F.I. canteen. That might, however, act as a deterrent to married men, whose wives might not be quite so keen to let their husbands join the local T.A. units if that kind of inducement were held out.

The fundamental difficulty of the Territorial Army has been that we have tried to do it on the cheap. We cannot hope to achieve any success in this sphere if we work in the old cheese-paring atmosphere which has cramped and stifled Territorial activities in the past. One point has been made by hon. Members which I would like to emphasise as strongly as possible. I am prepared to assert without fear of contradiction that it is impossible for any Territorial Army officer to carry out his duties in the Territorial Army today without being considerably out-of-pocket. Why should this additional liability be imposed on men who want to serve in the Territorial Army, and who are deterred from doing so because they know that unavoidably they will be considerably out of pocket at the end of the year? It is very important that my right hon. Friend should devise adequate means of relieving the burden on these men. Something has been done to lift the burden on other ranks by freeing efficiency bounties from Income Tax, but officers do not get efficiency bounties and that particular concession is of no advantage to them.

I am sorry that as my time is short it is not possible for me to dwell upon all those very interesting suggestions that have been made with the fullness that they deserve. There is one final point I should like to make. It is that attention should be given to linking up the Army Cadet Force with the Territorial Army. Personally, I do not like the name Army Cadet Force. I would prefer Junior Territorial Army, which I think would get young people to join more easily than is the case at the moment. I hope, therefore, that my right hon. Friend will take a serious view of the situation and remember that, if practical and definite results are to be achieved, more adequate guarantees have to be given and no attempt made to try to run the Territorial Army at a bargain basement price.

9.2 p.m.

May I in the first place express my appreciation of what I might call the unsolicited testimonial paid by the hon. and gallant Member for Knutsford (Lt.-Colonel Bromley Davenport) to the chairmen of Territorial associations. I have been one of that variety for a good many years but I should like to say this, that although they do a great deal of work which possibly might be recognised, I do not think my hon. and gallant Friend was right in suggesting that we have to spend a lot of money in entertaining all and sundry. I certainly never have done so myself and I do not think that many chairmen have done so. I certainly do not think that there should be any entertainment allowance as he suggests. I agree with him and with the hon. and gallant Member for Brixton (Lieut.-Colonel Lipton) that some form of closer union—I would put it no higher than that—of the Army Cadet Force with the Territorial Army is undoubtedly desirable and might be of great use to both Forces.

I want to say a few words on Territorial Army recruiting, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State will believe me when I say that I am not saying anything in a party spirit but solely with a view if possible to be of use to the Territorial Army. I am very grateful, as are many hon. Members concerned at the concessions which were made, and which were alluded to by the hon. and gallant Member for Brixton, by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as regards Income Tax on Territorial Allowances and efficiency bounties. I believe it would have been a great handicap had it remained, and it will be of very great importance that the Income Tax upon them has been done away with.

Recruiting is not going ahead as it ought to, and I believe there are two principal reasons for that. One is the uncertainty of recruits as to what will be the attitude of their employers regarding leave for the 15 days' camp; and, secondly, the uncertainty of employers as to conditions regarding the camp, or as to how the camp leave for the Territorial Army men can be reconciled with the demand for a great production drive. At present there is really something like deadlock. The employee will not join until he knows what the attitude of the employer is going to be, and the employer will not commit himself until he knows how many men and how much money, as far as he is concerned, are going to be involved. A question which is also being alluded to is that of leave being given by Government Departments to Territorials in their employ. Of course, they ought to set an example and in some cases they are doing so, but they should not claim any great credit for it because they are not only helping the Government's national scheme but are also doing it not at their own expense but at the expense of the taxpayers.

I should like for a moment to refer to a letter which I have here from the manager of a very large firm and which deals with certain matters concerning recruiting. I sent this letter to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, and he was good enough to tell me that he was considering these matters very carefully, but I think that a very early decision is required upon them. In the first place this manager says that he had not been approached at all on any high level. I do not know whether he regards the chairmen of Territorial associations as being high enough, but, in any case, he had not been approached from a high level and he knew very little about the scheme. In an age of federations, unions, combines and Government control he thought that a directive should be given to all firms. He wished to know the relative importance of the Territorial Army and the much talked of production drive.

He was doubtful about letting men go for 15 days' camp, since in a mass production factory the loss of a number of hands might disorganise production. He could see little justification for the employer being asked to pay for what is a national commitment by giving full wages for men's time spent in camp, or even by making up the difference between their Territorial Army pay and wages. He said, further, that he was not prepared to act until a directive from the Engineering and Allied Employers Federation in London was given Those are certain points of view of a fairly typical works manager, and I think that they are matters which ought to be very carefully considered and on which a de- cision ought to be given very soon—as I represented to the right hon. Gentleman on a previous occasion. If we are to get anything of a Territorial Army of the kind which will be necessary—not only to keep things going to provide a Territorial Army now, but also to absorb the National Service men in two years' time—we must get men quickly.

Then there is the question of quarters for permanent staff, about which there have been difficulties in some places. I hope that consideration will be given to this matter, because it is very important. If we send out permanent staff instructors, not only may they have very considerable expenses, as has already been pointed out, but if they have no suitable quarters in which to live they will certainly not be able to function. Altogether, I think it is of very great importance that things should be made as little difficult as possible for Territorial Army personnel. In reply to some of the questions which I and other hon. Members have raised, we have been told that it is just the same for other people in matters of motor mileage, the petrol allowance, and so on, and that it is the same for civilians or for regular officers. But there is not the transport which Regular officers have, and it is not quite the same for civilians. T.A. officers are asked to do things which civilians do not have to do, and we cannot be too generous to Territorial soldiers in making it easy and not difficult for them to carry out their duties.

Another question is that of equipment. I am aware of a case, which I do not say is in my own county, in which Territorial units have asked for equipment, but have been told that they must get the men first. That means that there is nothing with which to train the men, and men are not anxious to come along. It is very important also to recognise that we are not asking for recruits in the ordinary sense, but for trained men who have served and who want to come back. There are two conditions which must be fulfilled. One is that the Territorial Army must be fit for service without a long period having to be given for training, and, secondly, cadres must be available in order to absorb the National Service men when they come along in due course. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will recognise the urgency of giving a decision and of making an announcement on the question of what is going to be asked of employers and what is going to be done for employees when they join the Territorial Army, in regard to the question of attending camp. That matter is of the utmost importance. I do not believe that we shall get all the men we want until that question is finally settled and a satisfactory answer has been given.

9.11 p.m.

This is an important matter, which raises no party controversy. As a result, we have had on both sides of the Committee speeches devoted entirely to constructive suggestions to help the cause behind which all of us are united. Only the fact that the Under-Secretary of State for War is not here has emboldened me to intervene. Otherwise, he might challenge me as to my military credentials for taking part in a Debate on the Army Estimates. I have been in the Territorials in my time, and I have since had a great many connections with the Territorial Army. I cannot claim to speak with as recent or as long an experience as the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. Rees-Williams), but I think he would agree with me that it is dangerous in existing circumstances to put too much reliance on our prewar experience of the Territorial Army. We have to recognise the fundamental change which has been brought over the Territorial Army by the decision which the House has recently taken. As an example, I was a little amused when the hon. Member for South Croydon chided my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head) for not having in his speech either mentioned or shown any realisation of the existence of the Territorial Army associations, while the hon. Member himself, during a fairly long and most interesting speech, never mentioned or showed any realisation whatsoever of the existence of the National Service Act.

I think I introduced my speech by saying that I agreed with much of what had been said by the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head), and that I would not waste the time of the Committee by reiterating that interesting part relating to the National Service Act.

All are agreed that we have to look at the Territorials in the light of our own experience, and also in the light of the wholly new functions which face them under the arrangement to which I have referred. The first and most important question which has been brought out in the Debate, and on which all of us are anxious to hear the answer by the Secretary of State, is, what precisely is supposed to be the function of the Territorial Army in the interim period between now and the start of the full flood of the National Service Act recruits to the Territorials? Assuming that we shall get recruits according to whatever scale we think desirable—some may question whether we shall, in fact be able to do so—what is it that we want the Territorial Army to be in the next two or three years? Is it to be a cadre or is it to be a unit, not, of course, at full strength, but a unit which it would be possible to function as a unit, and yet have within it room to absorb those coming out under the National Service Act?

The very discussion we have had this evening shows what confusion there is among all of us as to what is the actual desire of the War Office. I agree with the hon. Member for South Croydon. I do not believe that the Territorial Army can function over the next three or four years merely on a cadre basis. It is asking a great deal of a small cadre of potential instructors to come together and then wait for three years until they have anybody to instruct. It is only as a unit, even if a unit below full mobilisation strength, that we can maintain and develop the Territorial spirit during the next three years and thus have a really efficient machine to take care of the conscripts when they begin to come out. We must, of course, remember something else, that whatever our beliefs and hopes may be, the War Office has always to be ready for eventualities. I imagine that the War Office will be looking immediately to the Territorial Army to perform certain functions in the case of an emergency and will start to put certain reliance on it. In my submission, those functions cannot be discharged if the units are to be recruited merely on a cadre basis.

That brings me to the second point. It is all very well laying down an objective that each unit should be of fuller strength, but in view of the actual experience of recruiting in the last few months, is it any good striving, even if we believed it to be right to strive, for more than a cadre function in the Territorial unit? Perhaps tonight the right hon. Gentleman will give us some up-to-date figures on recruiting as a whole. My own impression is that not only has it been generally disappointing, but that there has within the general range been very marked disparities as between units. Here and there units with good traditions or with the right personalities for commanding officers have been moderately successful, and other have been almost complete failures. We want to hear tonight from the Secretary of State what is the actual position of Territorial recruiting, how disappointed he is, and what prospects on present lines he sees for the future.

I cannot believe from all I hear that he can express himself as being satisfied with what has happened so far, nor that he will be able to refrain from expressing the hope that there will be a very considerable improvement in the future on the experience of the past. That brings us to the third point which we have been discussing tonight, and that is what can be done to improve Territorial recruiting. There have been from all sides of the Committee a great many interesting suggestions, for which I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will be grateful, and on which, no doubt, during the course of his speech, he will want to comment. I am certain that the most potent thing to bring recruits into a unit is a general feeling that it is a good show. You may in the stress of an emergency looming closely before you, as in 1939, be prepared to put up with improvisations and general discomfort, and what appears to be a certain amount of disorganisation; you are not prepared to do so under conditions of today, and nothing puts off a potential recruit more than some material lack which makes him think that the show is not a good one or is not one in which the authorities are particularly interested.

I cannot agree with the interesting suggestion made by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Carshalton that, in view of the shortage, it is a good thing to make drill halls out of two sardine tins and an empty beer bottle. Even if we could do it, I believe that kind of improvisation, useful as it is for the purpose of training, is a great deterrent to recruiting, and the Secretary of State for War has to face up to the fact that if he wants these recruits, if the Government want these recruits, if they think as we do that it is vitally important to get these recruits, the Government have to take the steps which will give them the idea that they are wanted and that when they have joined they will be properly used. In other words, if they want drill halls they must have them, and not tin sheds, and if we can only give them drill halls even by giving them priority over housing schemes, then it has to be given, unless you are prepared to say that this is not of so much importance to the security of the country as to warrant priority.

The same with equipment. I do not know what is the general standards of equipment now being issued, but I do know of one rather technical unit where the equipment given so far is extremely disappointing and is quite enough to put off any recruit who, after all, is a trained man, knows what he was getting and ought to be getting, and then sees what is actually to be provided for him.

Finally, on the material side, there is the question of money—the small grants to which many hon. Members have referred. I shall not go over them again in detail, but I think that kind of thing, small in itself, makes an enormous difference when you are trying to attract a number of people into these shows, in a way against their will, because quite clearly, after seven years of service, there is a natural reaction against serving again, and that has to be overcome. You do not help to overcome it by imposing on them a number of petty restrictions and handicaps and losses which, when all added up, do not make half an hour's difference to the whole of the national expenditure, yet, in individual cases, may act as a great discouragement.

So on these material things which have to be done for the Territorials, I ask the Secretary of State to carry out his responsibility in this matter, which I know he must feel deeply. He must know that unless he can, in the next three years, build up this Territorial force, the National Service Act which we have passed during this year will be the biggest fiasco in history. It will be proved completely futile, and will have a damaging effect not only on the individuals concerned, but on the whole of our national security. He must feel his responsibility for making a success of it and he must, as I am sure he does, realise with his colleagues who have to bear that responsibility with him, that he is entitled to demand, and that he should demand, what is necessary to make the thing work.

I can conceive of no more silly policy in a matter of this kind than to be penny wise and pound foolish, to make small economies when what you are doing, if only you do it properly, is the biggest economy you can ever make—because if this fails you have not an opportunity of having so much of your Army or your reserves run on the cheap as the Territorial Army was able to do it before the war. Therefore, we appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to listen to the suggestions that have been put forward tonight, to adopt them as his own, and to press them on the Cabinet with all the vigour which the situation demands. Let him tackle the Chancellor. He will not find, when he comes to tackle him, that the Chancellor is really as bad as all that—his bark is worse than his bite; he has a very loud bark but comparatively blunt teeth. The right hon. Gentleman will have on this occasion the intense sympathy of all Members of the Committee who, even if the Debate tonight has had to be curtailed, have all felt that we are dealing with a subject of infinite importance to the future of the defences of this country and, as such, perhaps the future of our national security.

9.26 p.m.

I think the Committee will regret that we have not had a longer opportunity tonight to discuss this most important matter more fully; nevertheless, we are grateful for the suggestions which have been made from all quarters of the Committee. In a very instructive, and, if I may say so, in comparison with the previous Debate, a very conciliatory manner, both the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol (Mr. Stanley) and the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head) expressed the hope that I realised my responsibility for recruiting the Territorial Army in readiness for the important functions they have to undertake when the National Service reservists flood in after having done their 12 months' compulsory training.

I realise that only too well and I am afraid that many of these problems on which hon. Members have touched tonight will give me many more grey hairs than I possess at the moment before I am able to overcome them. I shall not he able to overcome them without goodwill and assistance from all parts of the House and all sections of the community; that is why we shall be appealing constantly to those different sections to help us in these matters. Not only have I to recruit the Territorial Army but, at the same time, I have to recruit the Regular Army and, looming over them both, is the shortage of manpower. It will not be an easy matter and, although I am by no means a pessimist, nevertheless I think it will be an extremely difficult job. I do not under-estimate it and in my speech tonight I shall attempt to indicate the manner in which we shall try to prepare that most important part of the defence of our country.

That brings me to what I may call the rôle of the Territorial Army. The right hon. Gentleman posed the question as to what precisely is to be the function of the Territorial Army during the next two or three years. I would prefer to indicate what is to be the function of the Territorial Army, and then he will see, as will other hon. Members, what generally will happen during the next two or three years. In its postwar era, the Territorial Army will assume quite a different rôle from that which it had before the war. It will be a much more balanced force than it was in prewar days. I am not speaking of the immediate prewar days when the Territorial Army was doubled, and was in readiness for the war which was then not far ahead; I am speaking generally of the inter-war period. In those days, the Territorial Army was a sort of reserve for the Regular Army which was to form the spearhead of any active operations overseas. In the last war and in the previous one, the Regular Army was mainly organised to send an expeditionary force overseas, and the rôle of the Territorial Army before the war was really to supplement those efforts, but more on a unit scale than on a formation scale. That will entirely alter under our plans, because the Territorial Army, apart from the responsibility they will assume in the antiaircraft defence of this country, will be formed in formations, complete and ready to take their position alongside whatever Regular Forces may be necessary to meet the emergency if and when it arises.

That indicates, of course, that we have to bring the Territorial Army up to a very high standard of training indeed, and it would he futile for me to try to convince the House that the Territorial reservist, when he has finished his 12 months' Regular training and takes his place in the ranks of the Territorial Army, will be a trained man. He will be largely trained, it is true, but in regard to some arms of the Force, he will obviously have to finish his technical training while he is serving as a Territorial. Tonight our main concern is with the volunteers, the volunteer Territorial Army, which will be there to receive the National Service reservist when he comes out, and, assisted by the Regular element, which will go to stiffen the Territorial Army, will be able to train that reservist when he has finished his 12 months' service. These volunteers will be different from the National Service man inasmuch as they will be trained men themselves. Both officers and men will be recruited from the ranks of those who have served in this war, and who have had comparatively recent war experience. That will not be easy, because with the best will in the world, and with all the patriotism which these officers and men have, they have to rehabilitate themselves after probably several years absence during this war. That is probably the reason why, up to the present, we have not been able to get the results we anticipated in voluntary recruitment. I will say a word in a few moments as to the figures.

As regards the operational role of the Territorial Army, I said a few moments ago that the Territorial soldiers will be organised in complete formations, and will also be responsible to a large extent for the anti-aircraft defences of this country. At the present moment, we have have had to supply some Regular soldiers to man some of the ack-ack defence units, which are now being formed. We hope that as time goes on these antiaircraft defences of this country will be largely undertaken by the Territorial Army. Nevertheless, a considerable nucleus of Regulars will also be necessary for that purpose. I think I have indicated that the Territorial Army is not necessarily for home defence, even in those anti-aircraft units.

It the occasion should arise to send an expeditionary force or an army overseas, then the ack-ack defences for that army, to a certain extent, will be recruited from the Territorial ranks here, always bearing in mind that we must not denude the defences of this country, at any rate not the ack-ack defences, until we can find something better to deal with the things that come from overseas through the air.

Having said those brief words on the rôle of the Territorial Army, I now come to what is being done in regard to recruiting. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Bristol asked if I would give figures. I am in a position to give some figures which are the latest, stating the position up to the end of June. We have recruited 4,236 officers, 106 A.T.S. Territorial officers, 14,322 other ranks and 1,920 A.T.S. other ranks, making a grand total of 4,342 officers and 16,242 other ranks. By a quick piece of mental arithmetic, hon. Members will see that that is just over 20,000. That is not as many as we anticipated, but we are not surprised that things have not gone as well as we had hoped because we started off at the wrong end of the season. Those experienced in recruiting will know that the summer months are not generally good months for harvesting recruits either for the Regular or the Territorial Army. However, we were determined to make a start. There was a difference of opinion between different county associations whether 1st May was the right date to start, or 1st September. When discussions went on in the War Office I took the line, "Let us get ahead and make a start; let us see what we can do." We have got in something like 20,000 and I say that in relation to what we want it is not a bad start, when one takes into account all the difficulties which have been enumerated by so many hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the Committee.

We have purposely told the associations that at the moment concentration should be on cadres and not on the filling up of the ranks of a unit. If anything, we are going more for quality than quantity, though we should like very much to get quantity as well. It is no good us getting a large quantity of recruits if the drill-halls and the establishments, the key-men, the officers and senior N.C.O.'s, are not there to receive them. Nothing discourages a recruit more than to find when he gets to the headquarters that there is nothing much doing. Therefore, we have concentrated mainly on cadres. But—and I hope that this answers the point made by the right hon. Gentleman—this is only for the moment. As the months go on, we hope to convert these cadres into something much more solid than that. Most of the permanent staff is there, in spite of all the difficulties, and there are immense difficulties, as hon. Members have pointed out. The commanding officers have been appointed, as have the formation commanders. Commanders of the higher formations, the divisional commanders, will be the district commanders. At the moment we have had to find more Regular officers to fill the ranks of unit commanding officers because we cannot get gentlemen with time to devote to what is now a most onerous duty. Nevertheless, we hope that, as time goes on, and as Territorial Army requirements are more widely known in the counties, more Territorial commanding officers will be forthcoming. We have made arrangements for the training of these senior commanding officers, if they should be forthcoming, and, for example, we have arranged a special combined operations course for August, but I regret that the response we have had amongst Territoral officers is so small that it will be difficult to fill the vacancies for that course.

Before the right hon. Gentleman leaves the subject of commanding officers, could he possibly tell the Committee whether he would consider amending the original tenure of commanding officers in order to get the cadres going properly?

I shall have something to say about the length of tenure of these commanding officers in a moment or two. About equipment, on the whole, I am satisfied that, for the present, at any rate, there is all the up-to-date equipment required, and by up-to-date, I mean in relation to the Regular Army, because those who served in the later stages of the war will know that equipment was rapidly going out of date in some respects then, and I imagine that, at some time in the not-too-distant future, there will have to be some heavy expense for re- equipping the Regular Army, and the House will have to face up to that problem at some time or other. We cannot always go on living on our fat, as the expression goes. We finished the war with a lot of good equipment, much of it American, which we cannot hope to continue, because it is wearing out and we cannot get the spare parts, nor do we propose to rely on American equipment. Therefore, we shall for some time have to have more up-to-date equipment for the Regular Army, and that includes the Territorial Army, but, for the moment, the equipment question is not a serious one for the Territorial Army. So long as they really have need of it, that is to say, so long as they have the recruits to train, they can drew on the stores of the Regular Army.

May I take it that that policy will give the Territorial Army the opportunity of getting the out-of-date equipment when the Regular Army ceases to use it?

No, Sir. We shall endeavour—indeed, if the Territorial Army is going to fill that rôle which I have outlined, then, obviously, they must have up-to-date equipment, especially anti-aircraft equipment, otherwise, if an emergency should arise, they would not ready to function in the rôle which has been assigned to them.

I am rushing along very quickly, because there are so many different points which hon. Gentlemen have raised that time will not permit me to deal at length with every individual item. When we come to the question of deterrents to recruiting, I should think that accommodation is the highest or biggest deterrent. There is no doubt about it, just as in civil life or in ordinary industrial life, if we have a good and well found factory, or a good, comfortable home, we can generally obtain not only the people to fill the homes but also the people to fill the factories. Similarly, with the Territorial Army, there is no doubt that we are sadly lacking in sufficient accommodation. Many Territorial buildings were built for the prewar Territorial Army, and they differ greatly from the requirements of the Army with which we are concerned. Moreover, many of these Territorial headquarters were used during the war, not only for different purposes by the Army, but in some cases were taken over by other Government Departments.

The Committee have probably little idea what a battle I sometimes fight to extract my own buildings from my colleagues; nevertheless, the battle goes on, and, little by little, we are recovering what belonged to the Territorial Army, and are dealing, in addition, with a large amount of new accommodation which will be required. In response to the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton I would say that, in that respect, we are engaged in using temporary premises and temporary methods of construction wherever we can. We may not go so far as to use some shack or shanty as, I think, he wished, but we are using, for example, huts surplus to Army requirements, and are transferring them from one site to another in order to help the local units to get their headquarters.

I am bound to remind the Committee that, in spite of what hon. Gentlemen opposite may say, there is at the present time a building drive for the civilian population. That means that the biggest priority—and, I suppose, only rightly—is being given to civilian demands at the moment. Nevertheless, I am neglecting no opportunity of getting whatever priority I can. I am convinced that the Territorial Army must be treated pari passu with the Regular Army in their requirements. In that respect, I would like to quote from a War Office memorandum. It says:
"The Army Council has decided that in view of the extreme importance of the Territorial Army in future plans for defence, Territorial Army requirements should, in principle, be accorded the highest priority until further notice."
I think that is an indication of the seriousness with which we in the War Office view the building up of the Territorial Army. There, again, as in the case of equipment, there will at some have to be a big building programme in order properly to accommodate the Territorial Army.

I will now come to the matter of finance. In spite of what the right hon. Member for West Bristol advised me to do in relation to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I can assure him that my right hon. Friend and I get on very well together when I make my demands on him for the Army. Let me give a practical illustration of how well we get on together in that respect. One or two hon. Members, and particularly, I think, the hon. and gallant Member for Peters-field (Sir G. Jeffreys), referred approvingly to what my right hon. Friend the Chancellor had done in regard to making training bounties and training allowances free of tax. I give my right hon. Friend full marks for that, but I hope the Committee will concede a few to me, because it was at my instigation that he did it.

Surely, that was done originally in response to an Amendment put down from this side?

That is not entirely true. It may be that hon. Members opposite cashed in at the right moment, but the fact remains that negotiations had been going on for some time before that Amendment was placed on the Order Paper. Indeed, a somewhat similar Amendment was placed on the Order Paper by this side. Do not let any of us claim credit for these things, but let us simply say "Thank you" to my right hon. Friend the Chancellor when he gives them. With regard to lodging allowances and travelling allowances, a scheme for trying to solve these difficulties has been prepared in the War Office, and we are now discussing that with the Territorial Army associations.

I would not like to say offhand. We are discussing so many of these things in the War Office and outside. I am sure the hon. and gallant Gentleman will readily understand that with the main task in the last two years of reducing the Army and its organisation, some time must elapse before we can get the new Army going; that refers to both the Regular and the Territorial Armies.

There is no doubt that the training which we shall give in the annual camps—and, by the way, there will be hardly any of the ordinary annual camps this year—will necessitate a certain amount of sacrifice on the part of the members of the Territorial Army. I think before the war a good deal was done by some employers to assist their men who were members of the Territorial Army to take a period off for training in addition to their paid leave. We have had this matter under consideration for some time. Indeed, it was the intention of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, as I had asked him to do it himself personally, to make an announcement to the Committee on that very issue, but, for certain reasons, into which there is no need to go now, the Prime Minister is not able to be here tonight to make this statement, and, if the Committee will permit me, I should like to read the statement he has asked me to make. May I say, in passing, to one hon. Member, who mentioned the absence of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence, that he is taking a well-earned holiday in preparation for the strenuous times which are, no doubt, ahead of him, and that is the reason he is not here tonight.

This is the statement which my right hon. Friend was to have made:
"The early building-up of the reconstituted voluntary reserve and Auxiliary Forces is of the greatest importance. These Forces have a vital part to play in the defences of this country: some are in the front line of those defences; the rest provide the first line of reinforcements behind the Regular Services. In addition, particularly in the case of the Territorial Army, they must be ready to play a most important part in the training of the large numbers of National Service men who will be completing their one year's full time training and entering the Reserves from the end of 5949 onward. I wish to emphasise, therefore, that the National Service Act does not in any way remove the need for voluntary service in the Reserve and Auxiliary Forces and the Government are anxious to ensure that no obstacle is placed in the way of those who are willing to undertake it.
My right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour has to this end recently consulted both sides of industry through the medium of the National Joint Advisory Council on this question of leave for annual camps. The position of the National Service man in this respect is, of course, safeguarded by the terms of Section 54 of the National Service Act. I am glad to say that the National Joint Advisory Council endorsed the principle that volunteer members of the non-Regular Forces should not be compelled to forego their holidays either in whole or in part for the period of summer camp which should, unless they wish otherwise, be additional to their normal annual leave."
I am now coming to the part referring to the leave which His Majesty's Government are themselves prepared to give:
"The Government cordially approve this principle and hope that it will be generally applied. The British Employers' Confederation has undertaken to bring the matter to the notice of employers' organisations throughout the country."
That, at any rate, in part, I think, will meet the point made by the hon. and gallant Member for Petersfield.
"So far as the Civil Service is concerned, the Government, for their part, propose to reintroduce the arrangements which obtained before the war, subject to such adjustments as may be necessary to meet changed circumstances. In general, civil servants who volunteer for service in the Auxiliary Forces and attend an annual training camp will, if their normal entitlement of leave is three weeks or lees, be granted the full fortnight required for annual camp as additional paid leave. Those with a higher leave entitlement will be allowed one week's additional paid leave for annual camp and will be free to choose whether the second week should count as unpaid leave additional to their normal entitlement or as part of their normal leave with pay. They will, of course, in common with other members of these Forces receive Service pay for the full period of camp in any case."
That, I think, ought to convince the Committee of the earnestness of the Government's intentions, and I only hope that employers of labour outside will follow what I believe all hon. Members will agree is an excellent example set by His Majesty's Government in this respect.

While the right hon. Gentleman is on that subject, could he say what is to happen with regard to nationalised industries?

I could not say precisely at the present moment, but I should naturally think it would follow, in view of the appeal made by the Government to employers of labour generally, that nationalised industries will set also the very good example the Government have set for their own servants.

But is it not a fact that the National Coal Board have refused permission for any of their employees to join the Territorial Forces?

I should not like to answer that offhand at the moment. What I am prepared to say is this. I am prepared to answer a question on, that, but I am dealing with the general subject at the moment, and I should not like to discuss that in detail. In relation to Northern Ireland, recruiting has not started yet. It is due to start on 1st September for those units ready to receive recruits.

Let me come to one more matter. If I have not answered in these general remarks all the points put by individual hon. Members, I am sorry; but time will not permit me; and I shall endeavour on another occasion, either by personal letter or conversation, to try to satisfy individual points that have been made. With regard to cadets, my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence has made a statement to the House recently, and at the present moment, of course, there are negotiations going on for—I do not know whether "amalgamation" is the right word—joining up or linking up all three cadet Forces. As soon as that has been achieved, then it will follow that there will be much closer linking up—or "marrying" as one hon. Gentleman referred to it—with the Territorial Army. But I am bound to say that we do not desire that any cadet unit should sever its association with any particular regiment or battalion that it has had hitherto with any Regular battalion. But there will be closer linking up between county organisations of the cadet Forces and the county Territorial associations. We have given instructions that permanent staff instructors shall give as much time as possible to the cadets, particularly in this interim period, when they will not be fully occupied with the Territorial Army because the Territorial Army recruits will not be there.

There is one other thing which I should like to mention—a small point but I think one of some significance. Before the war, in 1938, a silver badge was approved for wear on the lapels of jackets by Territorials when in civilian clothes. We are now considering whether it will not be possible to reintroduce that badge for volunteer Territorials. We think it would be welcome amongst those who join the Territorial Army voluntarily, and we are now considering it.

In conclusion, I hope that, not only as a result of this Debate but of the keenness and enthusiasm which has been shown by hon. Members in all parts of the Committee, they will come forward to help us at the War Office in various ways and at every opportunity to recruit volunteers for the Territorial Army. I believe we shall get it in readiness for 1950 when we shall badly need it for the National Service men.

It being Ten o'Clock, The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to make his report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again Tomorrow.