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Armed Forces

Volume 441: debated on Wednesday 30 July 1947

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Strengths

46.

asked the Prime Minister, whether he expects to announce before the recess the result of the Government's reconsideration of the numbers of men to be retained in the Armed Forces as at March, 1948.

I hope it will be possible to make a statement on the estimated strength of the Forces on 31st March, 1948, before the House rises.

British Personnel, India

48.

asked the Minister of Defence, what is the estimated number of all ranks British personnel, Royal Navy, R.A.F. and Army, stationed in India, who will be released from duties in that country as a result of the new defence arrangements in the two Indian Dominions.

I have been asked to reply. Over and above withdrawals already planned, the total number involved is rather more than 30,000.

Can my hon. Friend say if in the statement which we have been promised on the new figures for the Armed Forces regard will be had to this reduction in our military requirements?

Closed Roads

49.

asked the Minister of Defence how many roads are still closed to the public on account of their being taken over by one of the service departments; and under what powers are these roads still retained.

The number of roads still closed by the War Department and the Admiralty is 214. I regret that it is not possible in the time available to make an analysis of the 1,350 orders, made by the Air Ministry for the closing of roads, footpaths and bridle paths, which are still in force. All such roads are retained under Defence Regulation 16.

Has not the time now come for further consideration of this matter in view of the complicated number of orders, and will my hon. Friend look into it?

Yes, Sir, on a particular case one can look into it in detail, but many of these roads were closed for reasons of airfield reconstruction and so forth, and it is impossible to solve these problems at short notice.

Will the hon. Gentleman give consideration to releasing the land around the roads owned and appropriated by the War Office?