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Vehicles And Equipment

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 17 May 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that owing to poor recruitment many Territorial Army units are not able to maintain adequately vehicles and equipment; and whether he will consider the possibility of increasing the civilian permanent staff on the establishment of Territorial Army units in order to ensure that vehicles and equipment are properly maintained.

Territorial Army units should only draw the vehicles and equipment which they are in a position to maintain. Units which have not recruited many men neither need nor have issued to them the same amount of equipment as those with larger numbers. A review of the permanent staff is at present taking place in the War Office; the maintenance of equipment is receiving consideration in this review.

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that if units drew only the amount of equipment which bore some relation to their numbers, the result would be that they would not have one vehicle or one particular piece of equipment on which men should train? Will he give this matter further consideration and see whether it is possible to increase the civilian assistance that these units get?

Is the Secretary of State aware that this situation can lead to a vicious circle? If units recruiting few men get no equipment it means that the men will be bored and then the unit does not recruit any more men.