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Royal West African Frontier Force

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 October 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for War what changes he proposes to make in the recruitment of officers for the Royal West African Frontier Force and why it is not thought desirable, as in the case of the Gurkha Brigade, for officers to make their career in the West African regiments instead of being seconded for a short period from the British Army.

No such change is contemplated. The Royal West African Frontier Force is not a Corps of the British Army, but a force raised in the West African Colonies by and for the protection of those Colonies themselves; its function is to maintain the internal security and local defence of those Colonies and it is not normally available for service elsewhere. To appoint officers permanently to the force might well be detrimental to their health, career prospects and efficiency and also to the efficiency of the force. Similar considerations do not apply to officers serving in the Brigade of Gurkhas since the brigade is an integral part of the British Army, and the officers have the same liabilities and opportunities for service as officers appointed to other Corps of the British Army.