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Wrexham Depot (Postings)

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 8 April 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for War how many National Service men who have been stationed at Wrexham during the last six months have signed on for further service; how many have refused; and if it is with his authority that young soldiers have been told that unless they sign on for further service they are liable to be drafted to Korea.

I take it that the hon. Member is referring to the Depot, the Royal Welch Fusiliers, since the other unit in Wrexham does not provide drafts for Korea. Out of 120 National Service men who joined this depot since January. 30 have undertaken Regular engagements. National Service men may be posted from this depot to any unit within the Welsh Brigade Group, while a man undertaking a Regular engagement can generally serve with the regiment of his choice. I think it right that the men should be told where the battalions of the brigade are serving. I do not accept the implication in the last part of the Question: the facts were put to the men without coercion.

May I have an assurance that the persons who are interviewing these young soldiers do not threaten them with service in Korea if they do not sign on for further service?

I have a copy of the letter written by the commanding officer. I think it is a very fair letter. The information he gave to the men was that if they joined the Regular Army they could apply to join the regiment of their choice; otherwise they could be posted to any one of three regiments, and he merely stated factually where those regiments were.