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Armed Forces

Volume 478: debated on Wednesday 25 October 1950

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Regular Recruits


asked the Minister of Defence what was the number of Regular recruits showing men and women separately, joining the Armed Forces between the date of the announcement by the Government of improved rates in pay and the latest convenient date, together with the figures for the corresponding period in 1949.

The figures of final enlistments in the Armed Forces in the month of September, 1950, were 7,665 men and 716 women. The corresponding figures for September, 1949, were 5,388 men and 731 women. These figures are not a true measure of the effect on recruiting of the improved rates of pay recently announced, since there is an appreciable interval between provisional acceptance at a recruiting office and final enlistment. The figures of provisional acceptance of recruits during the month of September, 1950, were 9,797 men and 1,393 women.

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied, on the whole and from the signs so far, with the results of the increased pay?

There has been an improvement, but I would not go so far as to say that I am satisfied.

Could my right hon. Friend tell us whether there has been a boom in recruiting as a result of increased pay?

I am not quite sure what is meant by a "boom." I should like a very accurate definition.



asked the Minister of Defence what was the percentage of those members of the Armed Forces whose regular engagements expired during the period between the date of the announcement by the Government of improved rates of pay and the latest convenient date re-engaging, as compared with the percentage re-engaging in the corresponding period of 1949.

During September, 1950, 3,388 men and women in all three Services completed their original engagements. In the same period 1,026 men and women extended their service or reengaged. These figures compare with 2,572 and 1,025 respectively in September, 1949. I should explain that since members of the Forces can re-engage or extend their service at varying periods before their service is due to end I cannot say how many of those whose original engagements were due to expire in September, 1949, and September, 1950, actually did so.

Medical Branch (Pay)


asked the Minister of Defence if he will now make a statement in regard to the pay increases for the medical branch of the Services.

The urgency of this matter is well understood and I hope to make a statement soon.

Reservists (Recall Notices)


asked the Minister of Defence if, in view of the fact that a Reservist who has taken accommodation that is tied to his civilian job is likely to lose his entitlement to such accommodation upon his recall to the Colours, he will ensure that, so far as is possible, all Reservists likely to be so recalled are warned of the likelihood in sufficient time to enable them to ensure adequate alternative accommodation for their families.

Reservists are always given as long notice as possible of recall. There is also machinery for dealing with individual cases of hardship.

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that some Reservists who were called up in the recent emergency had no time to make any preparations to obtain alternative accommodation for their families? Will he try to avoid that happening again?

We are doing our very best to avoid any hardship. I think it would be useful if I were furnished with some specific cases of hardship so that I could deal with them individually