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Army Reserve Bill

Volume 652: debated on Thursday 1 February 1962

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[2ND ALLOTTED DAY]

Considered in Committee [Progress, 31st January].

[Sir WILLIAM ANSTRUTHER-GRAY in the Chair]

Clause 3—(Reserve Of Territorial Volunteers)

3.50 p.m.

I beg to move in page 2, line 38, to leave out from first "army" to "has" in line 39.

We now come to Clause 3 of the Bill which, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) said on Second Reading, we have no objection to in principle. It deals with contracts freely entered into between individuals and the Army.

Before I come to the Amendment, itself, I should tell the Committee that my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg), who has taken such a prominent part in the proceedings of the Bill so far, is unable to be with us today. The affliction which marred his voice but not his argument has overpowered him, and I am sure that we shall miss his contributions to our debate today.

The Amendment will make it impossible for any person who is at present in the Territorial Army by virtue of the provisions of the National Service Act, 1948 to enter into an agreement to become a member of the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve, or the "Ever-readies".

I have moved the Amendment so that the Secretary of State for War can explain why he is putting forward this provision in the Bill. As I understand it, during the earlier proceedings on the Bill he has argued that the ordinary National Service man who may be liable for recall under Clause 2 should be encouraged to go into the Territorial Army and accept the obligations under Clause 3, thus removing any risk of call-up in the normal way under the provisions of Clause 2.

The Secretary of State for War is obviously hoping that he will get a considerable number of volunteers to join the "Ever-readies" so that he will have a wide range of people to choose from to fill the various round holes to which he referred on Second Reading. Because of this, it seems a little unusual, to say the least, that he should go out of his way in this part of Clause 3 to debar certain men from being able to volunteer and sign an agreement with him to go into the T.A.E.R. There may be sound reasons for this.

As I said, my reason for moving the Amendment is to give the Secretary of State for War an opportunity to tell us what these reasons are so that we can make up our minds on the merits or demerits of the matter.

Before entering into this stage of the Bill, I should like to say how sorry I am that the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) is ill. I hope that it is nothing to do with our discussions that two distinguished hon. Gentlemen have found it necessary to absent themselves. We regret that someone who has played such a prominent part in our discussions is unable to be here. I spoke to the hon. Member for Dudley on the telephone. His voice was weak, but I shall try to interpret some of his wishes.

The hon. Member for Islington, North (Mr. Reynolds) said that he had moved the Amendment to give me an opportunity to explain the reasons for what we are doing. The effect of the Amendment will be to open the T.A.E.R. to all part-time National Service men serving compulsorily with the Territorial Army. Under the Bill as drafted, such men will have to become volunteer members of the Territorial Army before they can join the "Ever-readies". Part-time National Service men are required to volunteer for a Territorial Army engagement before becoming eligible to join the T.A.E.R. because the whole concept of the "Ever-readies "is founded on the voluntary spirit of the Territorial Army.

As the hon. Gentleman recognised, it is my hope that we may be able to attract the keenest and best possible volunteer members of the Territorial Army. Men who are compulsorily in the Territorial Army, who take no part in the life of a Territorial Army unit, and who do not train, do not fit in with this spirit of the "Ever-readies".

There is nothing to prevent any part-time National Service man volunteering for the T.A.E.R., but if the Amendment were carried we could, at any rate in theory, have a member of the "Ever-readies" over whom the commanding officer had no power to enforce the required training. These are just the men who need refresher training, because, as I announced on Second Reading, part-time National Service men will be exempt from the condition that members of the Territorial Army must have served for one year before becoming eligible for the T.A.E.R. This is because certain part-time National Service men will have had even later experience of serving whole time in the Regular Army.

I hope that I have shown why we cannot accept the Amendment. I think that it would be contrary to the spirit of the Clause.

This is rather odd. I can see the point of view that if the "Ever-ready" is called up to serve with his T.A. organisation it is essential that he should be a volunteer training with that organisation. In fact, however, he may be called up for something quite different, with a different organisation, and for a different job.

I suppose it is true today that every member of the T.A. has served as a National Service man and done his regular training. There may be some exceptions, but they must be rare, and there will be no exceptions in future. With the abolition of National Service, the T.A. will consist more and more of people who have done no regular service. If the Government are looking for bodies, why refuse to accept someone who has had two years—and after this it may be two and a half years—full-time training as a professional soldier, even though a conscripted one, while accepting someone who has served for a year in the Territorial Army, and received, by comparison, the slight training which that involves? It seems to be an odd exclusion.

The right hon. Gentleman said that men who do not join in the life of the T.A. are unlikely to volunteer as "Ever-readies". I do not see this. A man may be quite prepared to settle into the work of a professional full-time unit, but not be attracted by the camping and social elements of T.A. soldiering. This is not a provision to provide men for the T.A. It is a provision to provide them for the Regular Army. Why, therefore, decline to accept the trained Regular? It seems odd.

I do not think that the hon. and learned Gentleman has put this in its proper perspective. When a man finishes his whole-time National Service, he is automatically attached to the T.A. or to the A.E.R.I. He is doing his part-time National Service. What we have said is that the new "Ever-readies" shall be organised within the ambit of the T.A., and that it is open to any part-time National Service man to volunteer to become a T.A. soldier and then get into the T.A.E.R. Just because an ex-National Service man has to be put technically on the books of the T.A., there is no reason to put him in a position different from any other ex-National Service man not on the' books of the T.A. We say that because members of the T.A. may technically not have done National Service, before they can become eligible for the "Ever-readies" they must serve one year, go through a camp, and be chosen by the commanding officer.

The alternative way to get in when his name is on the books technically, or he is an ex-National Service man not on the books, is to volunteer and be accepted by the commanding officer. Then, because he must have been doing whole-time National Service within the last three and a half years, he does not have to do a whole year's training before he can get in.

Everyone must be on the same level. Unless they become members of the Territorial Army, their commanding officers will not have them under their whole-time technical control over their training, and so on. That is what we want to happen and I do not see any reason for differentiating between a man technically on the books of the Territorial Army and somebody who is just an ex-National Service man. We must treat them both the same.

4.0 p.m.

I am sorry to persist, but the right hon. Gentleman does not seem to have taken the point. Under Clause 2, men who have completed their National Service and who are doing three and a half years on the Reserve are liable to compulsory call-up. I understand that rather than compulsorily call-up men who do not want to go, the idea is to have a group of volunteers who volunteer to be available for call-up. What additional qualification as against the Clause 2 men is required of the Clause 3 men, other than that they should volunteer to be available for call-up, thus saving the Clause 2 men who do not want to be called up?

If it is said that this is the sort of reserve which is required in an emergency, and so on, and that we have to have someone who has been kept up to date in the Territorial Army, why has it not been required that all the Clause 2 men, the men who can be called up precisely in this way, should be kept up to date in the Territorial Army? That provision is not made, so it seems that being kept up to date in the Territorial Army is not a condition or a qualification of the men wanted. Therefore, why exclude them?

It is a weakness of the Guillotine that as the Bill goes through Committee the Division bells ring and the Government are saved at the points where probing has just become interesting, and we then find ourselves, as we probably will today, with a good deal more time than is needed for other and less controversial matters. We have been trying to find out, as we were not told on Second Reading, whether Clause 2 men would be required in an emergency, or whether, when the right hon. Gentleman had run out of Clause 1 men, the Clause 2 men would simply be used to keep up the numbers of the Army. If the right hon. Gentleman is right in saying that these men are for an emergency and will be rarely used, it is in the interests of everybody that the Clause 3 men, the volunteers, should be available so that the Government do not have to call the Clause 2 men from civilian life.

Why should not a man who has the qualifications of a Clause 2 man be available to volunteer under Clause 3, thus saving an unwilling Clause 2 man with the same qualifications? This is an Amendment which we ought to press.

I do not rule out the possibility that I have failed to understand what the right hon. Gentleman is driving at. It is quite possible that I have the wrong idea. On the other hand, assuming that I have the right idea, I want to ask this question to begin with: what remarkable genius at the War Office conceived this harebrained scheme?

Let us imagine the position. The right hon. Gentleman is gasping for men. It is admitted that he does not have enough Regulars. He does not know whether he will get 165,000 or 182,000 men. That is all in the future, in the lap of the gods. This scheme has been conceived and the intention is to ask men undergoing National Service to accept another six months' service. That matter has been dealt with. Now we come to the question of the "Ever-readies".

The right hon. Gentleman has available 100,000 National Service men who are undertaking their reserve liability, that is to say, 100,000 men who have served two years and who are now reservists. The assumption is that two years is sufficient to train a man and make him a soldier. In addition to the men now undergoing National Service, shortly to come to an end, the right hon. Gentleman has an additional 100,000 who have been adequately trained and of whom he could avail himself in an emergency.

However, the right hon. Gentleman refuses to have those men as "Ever-readies". He will not provide them with the bounty of £150. They may be called up in the event of war, but that is a different proposition from joining the "Ever-readies". That they cannot be permitted to do. I understand that they can join the Territorials. This is a situation out of Gilbert and Sullivan.

There are men who are trained and undertaking their reserve liability and whom the right hon. Gentleman could use if he wanted. However, he says that they must join the Territorial Army, the volunteer Army, and that their commanding officers must select them for the "Ever-readies" if they want to join and if their commanding officer regards them as men with sufficient ability to undertake the tasks which they will be called upon to carry out.

I do not understand this. If the right hon. Gentleman wants men, he has them. Let the commanding officers select a number of men and ask them if they are prepared to become "Ever-readies." If the commanding officer does not want some of the men, regarding them as not adequately trained, he need not have them. But if they are adequately trained—and some are bound to be tradesmen—and if they are willing to join the "Ever-readies", why should they be rejected?

As I said earlier, my assumption may be wrong, but if anybody can produce an argument in support of what the right hon. Gentleman has said, I shall be very glad to hear it. I see the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) straining at the leash. If he can produce such an argument, I shall be very glad to hear it, but so far none has been put forward.

If I had been Secretary of State for War, and I had wanted men, I would have said that I had men available who had served for two years, so that some of them were bound to be trained soldiers and able to undertake responsibilities as tradesmen and technicians, or in signals. I would have selected them and used them, and I would have given them the opportunity of availing themselves of the bounty which the right hon. Gentleman provides so liberally and generously for men who can volunteer, but who must first be in the Territorial Army.

I wonder whether this scheme has been conceived not so much by the War Office as by the gentlemen associated with the Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association. They should have nothing to do with the Army at all; for the most part they are amateurs. This is a matter for the Army Council and not for the T.A.F.A. I have an idea that this scheme must have emanated from their very fertile brains, because they want to maintain control. These men will, therefore, have to join the Territorial Army and become volunteers under the control of the T.A.F.A.

If that is not the case I shall be glad to hear something to the contrary, but at the moment I cannot understand the proposition. I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman should reject the Amendment, which seems to play right into his hands and give him the body of trained men that he wants. This is incomprehensible to me.

The right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) is very difficult to satisfy in the matter of military personalities. In some of his speeches he casts gentle aspersions—if not exactly abuse—on the Regular generals, on the ground that they are stupid and hidebound, and require to be watched very carefully by the politicians, while in other speeches he talks about the amateur generals with a sneer and with contempt, and says that they obviously do not know what they are doing.

I have not said anything of the sort. I am not attacking the high-ranking officers of the Army Council. I am speaking about the gentlemen who are associated with the T.A.F.A. and Who, for the most part, are amateurs, or men who have retired. Some of them were in the Army years and years ago, in the Victorian era.

We have some Ministers of Defence who retired from their jobs a long time ago, and if the gentlemen in the T.A.F.A. who have spent many years of their lives serving with the Armed Forces are amateurs, What may they think about we politicians who are talking about them as amateurs this afternoon?

There are two reasons of substance why the Amendment should not be accepted. First, in asking my right hon. Friend to give one good reason, the right hon. Member for Easington did not appear to pay enough attention to the necessity for training. Training in military matters must be kept up to date, because new systems, weapons and organisations come into existence very quickly, and it is extremely easy to become out of date and relatively inefficient. It is important that those people who are going to be called up, if necessary, shall be au fait with the latest machinery, wireless sets, and so on.

Is the hon. Member seriously suggesting that the Territorial Army possesses the latest wireless sets? Does he realise that the Regular Army does not yet possess them? Nobody yet has a transistor set.

I know that the Territorial Army has the latest wireless sets. The hon. and learned Member is a little off the beam there.

The training that these men have to do is extremely necessary if they are to take their place in a Regular unit. It cannot be a sensible thing to give a bounty to any man who, for three and a half years and while subject to recall under Clause 2, is prepared to sign on the dotted line saying that he will come back in an emergency. All sorts of personal difficulties may arise, which may change his circumstances. Some men will be willing to take a gamble that they will not be called up, and will accept the £150 as a reasonable risk.

The hon. Member is misunderstanding the argument. We are not discussing the question of the bounty; we are discussing the question whether National Service men who have had two years' training and are undertaking their reserve liability of three and a half years should be permitted to join "Ever-ready" units. Naturally, if they did join they would receive the bounty, but that is not our argument. We should like to know why they are being excluded, as the Bill at present excludes them. It says that

"any person who is a member of the territorial army, not being a person serving in that army only in pursuance of the National Service Act"—
that is, the man who is undertaking his reserve liability—is to be excluded. Is not that so?

4.15 p.m.

Certainly he is excluded if he does not remove himself from the Clause 2 category; but he is not bound to be excluded. If he volunteers for the T.A. and becomes subject to this process of training, which is one of the essentials of the "Ever-readies", he will be accepted. It will be an advantage that he has only just completed his service. But it is essential that he shall be within the framework of the military organisation, and not merely a name on a paper, if he is to give any substance to the "Ever-ready" idea.

I believe that the purpose of the Clause has been misunderstood by hon. Members opposite. These men ought to be included, but only if they are prepared to train. It brings men from the reserve forces into the Territorial Army. Those who run the Territorial Army must be able to ensure that those who form the "Ever-readies" will be able to fulfil the functions of that organisation, in respect of which they are being paid a substantial amount of money.

All Territorial regiments depend a great deal upon the morale of their members. Efficiency and recruitment depend largely upon this factor. To withdraw the control of the commanding officer over the men in his regiment, and to take away his responsibility for promotion, would be to strike a serious blow at the way in which the Territorial Army is run. Even now there is a slight danger about this scheme. It will doubtless be watched very closely by those who are responsible for running it.

If the commanding officer of a Territorial unit is obliged to accept into his unit anybody who is willing to sign up to become an "Ever-ready", and so receive the bounty, it will remove a great deal of his responsibility. He must have an opportunity to choose and to be able to reject men whom he regards as unsuitable. Nothing spoils a unit more than to have in it somebody who does not fit in with the rest and who is not anxious to make the thing work. He does not want to have a gang of thugs who are prepared to form a sort of paraunit within the T.A. unit, and who go about saying, "We are the boys who are prepared to go to war. We will use your facilities and drink your beer, but we will be off as soon as there is any excitement, leaving you to stay at home and watch the women and children". That would be bad for the Territorial Army. These men must be part and parcel of their units.

Some of these "Ever-readies" will be called upon to go, as individuals, now here and now there to fill gaps as they occur, but I hope that consideration can be given to the possibility of posting men together—admittedly, in small subunits. We know the clannishness of the British character, especially as it exists in the Army. There is regimental spirit, and even if just a small sub-unit, such as a section, could be given a guarantee that if its members were called upon to serve they would be able to serve together an enormous fillip would be given to recruiting.

I have not been able to make detailed inquiries, but I have carried out some investigations in my part of the country, and in the regiment with which I was connected, and I have discovered that after the announcement made by my right hon. Friend recruitment to the "Ever-readies" rose by 25 per cent. Everybody who joined in the fortnight after the announcement was made inquired whether he would be allowed to join the "Ever-readies". This scheme may be a remarkable success, but if it is not handled in the right way the Territorial Army may suffer in the long run. We do not want a specialist corps of people; we want them all to be part of the Territorial Army.

I have put forward this suggestion before. When I last did so, some years ago, I was told that anything of the sort would be utterly impossible. Nevertheless, I hope that consideration can be given to allowing these Territorial Army "Ever-readies" to serve together in small sub-units, or at least to have a hope of being called up to serve together. I should not think that it would be too difficult. I know that many regiments in the British Army could not guarantee this, but it might be possible to do so in the case of, say, two tank crews, or a section of infantry taken from the Yeomanry, or a line regiment with which it was associated.

The possibility of men going to a regiment they know and being with comrades with whom they live as neighbours and whose families they know, would, I think, be an immense help to recruiting. It would be good for the morale of the Territorial Army and it would produce the men my right hon. Friend needs.

I am happy to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw), because I agree with much of what he has said. I wish to say a word about the position in the Territorial Army, with which I have been associated for some time. I must declare an interest, because I am still connected with it.

In the event of an emergency in a few year's time, I am hoping—we shall have to see—that the first men to be called up will be the "Ever-readies", as opposed to the reservists who have still a liability for recall under Clause 2. Speaking, as I say, as a Territorial, I am quite confident that when the time comes the authorities, after the fullest possible examination, will be quite satisfied that the "Ever-readies" will be more prepared and suitable for immediate service than the reservists. I will tell the Committee why.

Let me, first, deal with the point raised by the right hon. Member for Easing-ton (Mr. Shinwell), who asked why those reservists still in the Territorial Army should not be "Ever-readies." The point is that only those in the Territorial Army who, under their liability, have not volunteered are the ones who are excluded under the terms of this Clause. I believe that to be quite right. The right hon. Gentleman looks surprised, and the measure of his surprise, is, I say with confidence, the precise gauge of his lack of knowledge of Territorial Army affairs.

Suppose the hon. Gentleman was the commanding officer of a unit, or a battalion. Which would he choose: would he rather have a man trained for two years under the National Service Act, who was discharging his reserve liability and perhaps only a few months ago had finished his National Service, or an "Ever-ready" trained for one year?

I must answer that fairly and squarely and say what I think. The right hon. Gentleman has spoken from his regard for the Regular Army. I will put it like this. Those reservists who come to the Territorial Army under their legal liability to do so fall into two groups. There are those who, either because of the enthusiasm that the Regular Army has engendered in them, or the interest that they take in the training they find in the Territorial Army, volunteer to become members of the Territorial Army and do more than the very small number, the minimum number, of drills which is their legal responsibility. These men have become keen Territorials and prove that by staying in the Territorial Army long after their legal liability to do so has expired.

There is another group of people who, in their own words, are "fed up"—they sometimes use stronger language—with their experience in the Regular Army, and are counting the days until their liability for reserve service is finished. They did the minimum amount of drills, and sometimes less than the legal minimum, and so, occasionally, they had to be prosecuted in consequence. These are the men who are excluded under this Clause as it is drafted—

I must be allowed to finish. These are the ones who have not volunteered to join the Territorial Army. Those who have chosen to volunteer are not excluded.

Surely the hon. Gentleman is not facing the position. Take the case, which he has just put to the Committee of the ex-National Service man undertaking his reserve liability and who, because of his association with the Regular Army, has a keenness for the Army. He therefore associates himself with a Territorial unit. We know that that happens and we encourage it. We know that there are two categories. There are those who, according to the hon. Gentleman, and using the language he used, are "fed up", and there are those who are keen. But those who are keen, and associate themselves with Territorial units, if they do not volunteer—apart from their associating—for the "Ever-readies", are excluded. They are not selected by the commanding officer.

They must volunteer for the Territorial Army, not the "Ever-readies". The one thing must precede the other. I must get this straight. The right hon. Gentleman, who is very interested in Army matters, has, clearly, not studied the Territorial Army appreciably at all.

When a National Service man comes into the Territorial Army, he is known as an ex-National Service man. If he volunteers for the Territorial Army while still legally bound to be in the Territorial Army, he becomes known as a National Service volunteer. Thus we find that the National Service volunteer is in the Territorial Army not merely because of his legal liability, but also because he has volunteered. As I read the Bill, he is then eligible to volunteer, as a second step, for the "Ever-readies".

Of course he is. After this long palaver, the hon. Gentleman has conceded my point. A man can be associated with a Territorial unit and undergoing a reserve liability. But unless he volunteers then, again, for the "Ever-readies", he is excluded, according to the provisions of the Bill.

When the right hon. Gentleman says "volunteer for the Ever-readies' "he means "volunteer for the Territorials". If he can get the two things distinct and say what he means, it will be simpler to deal with his contention, which I do understand. The right hon. Gentleman is using the terms as though they were synonymous when they are not.

A man must first volunteer for the T.A., which every keen ex-National Service man does. Those who are not keen do not. It is only those who are not keen who are excluded by this Clause. I think that that is quite clear. Having by virtue of his keenness, and after doing more than 20 drills a year—which is really a negligible and a contemptible number—volunteered for the T.A., he comes into the category who may be considered for the "Ever-readies." And, if he wishes, he can volunteer for that, and be considered on an equal footing with anyone else in the regiment.

The right hon. Gentleman asked me whom I would choose. It would depend entirely on the man. No one could possibly say which category he would choose, taking the matter by categories. But let me put the right hon. Gentleman right on another point. He has referred to the Territorial Army as "amateurs". I accept that. I have rather an affection for the amateur. But if the right hon. Gentleman were to visit a Territorial unit which, it occurs to me, he may not have done recently, he would find in it a surprising proportion of recently retired Regulars who, perhaps, would not like to be called amateurs.

I had the pleasure recently of dining with a Territorial sub-unit which had nothing to do with my own battery. My host was a recently promoted Territorial major. Three months before he had been a Territorial captain. A year before that he was a major in the Regular Army, but, on retiring, he had dropped a rank to join the T.A. Whether the right hon. Gentleman would describe him as an amateur, and whether he would be right to do so, is a matter of opinion, but I would not agree.

Let me deal with the matter of training, which was raised by the right hon. Gentleman. This is very important. It must not be supposed that the Territorial Army trains itself in an airy-fairy way. It has the advantage of the most highly skilled permanent staff of instructors supplied at regular intervals from the Regular Army. It also has training officers and other facilities and a close liaison with the Regular Army. This is right, and I should like to see more of it. If the right hon. Member does not fully accept what I say, I hope that he will visit one or two Territorial regiments and units to get this clear in his mind.

I believe that there are not many National Service men in a good unit who have failed to volunteer to join the Territorial Army to do extra drills and to undergo extra training. The less keen ones will be of no great use to my right hon. Friend in his body of "Ever-readies" which, I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud, should be a corps d'elite, the best that the Territorial Army has to offer.

4.30 p.m.

I also agree with my hon. Friend that it would be a tremendous help to the T.A. if these "Ever-readies", who, I know, will volunteer in great numbers as soon as they can be taken on to the books, could be allowed so far as possible to serve together in parties, either in sub-units or groups from the same unit. I suggest to my right hon. Friend that this is an arrangement which might be administratively helpful. Presumably, Regular Army units which are short of different categories of men will indicate their shortages and almost indent for categories of "Ever-readies".

Wherever possible, those men required by any Regular unit should be supplied from a unit, or at least a brigade, in the Territorial Army. Then they would travel together wherever they had to go. That might be of considerable convenience in getting them precisely to the point where they are wanted rather than each going individually.

I think that there would be advantage in this. It would be a great help to the morale of Territorials if they knew that they would be likely to serve together with those they knew and with whom they had already trained. If it is possible to carry out that scheme I hope that it will be done.

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on what I think is one of the most imaginative and sensible steps taken by a Secretary of State for War for a very long time. As one who has had a little experience of the Territorial Army, I endorse every word spoken by my hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, North (Sir Richard Glyn). There are two distinct types of men in the Territorial Army. There are those who are there because they want to be there and those who are there because they have got to be there.

Everything that has been said about the Regular Army in debates on this Bill applies with equal force to the Territorial Army. The whole idea in recent years has been to build up a completely Regular Army. It was our aim when I was in the Territorial Army—and still is the aim, I think—to build up what we called a "Regular Territorial Army". In other words, it would be a Territorial Army consisting, so far as we could ensure it, entirely of volunteers to do a job they wanted to do. My experience over a number of years was that that type of man became an extremely useful soldier who tried to the best of his ability to train himself as a soldier.

On the other hand, we had a small number of National Service men in my unit who had been impressed into the Territorial Army and did not want to be there. They were psychologically unsuitable and they did not volunteer for the Territorial Army. I gather that it is the latter type of men that this Amendment is trying to bring in as "Ever-readies". In my opinion, they are the most unsuitable men for this purpose in the whole Territorial Army.

No doubt the right hon. Gentleman will make a speech on that subject later.

For the keen man the Territorial Army becomes more than a hobby; it becomes a way of life. After he has been in for a number of years, and the time comes for him to leave, he finds that the whole of his life as he has known it is coming to an end. He has worked for the Army and what has to do with the Army is his principal interest. That applies not only to officers, but to most humble men such as batmen and mess orderlies. They work together as a team.

My experience of the Territorial Army—a few years ago now—was that one gets a great degree of efficiency in a Territorial Army unit. Since I left I think that this has increased. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] That, of course, is not because of my leaving, but because there has been a considerable influx to the Territorial Army of Regular Army officers who have returned to civilian life. On my last visit to my unit I was told by N.C.O.s that the efficiency of the unit was now almost frightening. It was even greater than the efficiency in Regular Army units when they were in the Regular Army. We have here a body of men who seem eminently suitable to come to the aid of the country in an emergency such as my right hon. Friend has in mind.

As one with a little experience of these things, I suggest to the Committee that the type of men who are in the Territorial Army purely because of National Service commitments are the most unsuitable for this purpose. My right hon. Friend can find the men he wants in great numbers among what I would call the regular volunteer Territorials.

I, also, wish to congratulate my right hon. Friend. This is one of the most imaginative things which have been done and I believe that it will act as a shot in the arm for the Territorial Army. I hope that the "Ever-readies" might be allowed to wear a special flash to show that they are "Ever-readies".

I support my hon. Friends in hoping that these men may be allowed to serve as sub-units and not be isolated, because nothing is more lonely for a man than to go into a unit by himself for six months. It takes three months for him to make friends and then three months later he is leaving again. If men could go in small groups I do not see why Territorial and Regular units should not work in close liaison. That would knit them more closely together than is the case at present. In the long run that would be a good thing both for the Territorial Army and the Regular forces.

There is a problem which will be found in carrying out this idea. If they volunteer, these men have to be accepted, yet I suppose that my right hon. Friend will not wish to create a bar in each unit. If men are to be called to fill holes in the Regular Army, it is obvious that we do not want to call up many of the senior ranks from Territorial units. Is there to be a ceiling of age or seniority beyond which an "Ever-ready" can no longer continue to serve?

If I were commanding a Territorial battalion I could put my name on the "Ever-ready" list as soon as it was opened, but I do not suppose that my right hon. Friend would want to call up a half-termer to serve in a unit. That is a danger which he might look at when he is drawing up his regulations.

I had not intended to intervene in this debate, but, like my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Dorset, North (Sir Richard Glyn), I am still connected with the Territorial Army, and I want to support him in one thing he said. Purely from the administrative point of view, it may be a little more difficult to work, but where Territorials go from one unit to another, I think it will be very popular if they are able to be kept together as units. I hope that if it is at all possible my right hon. Friend will keep groups, even small ones, together when calling people up for further service.

I am glad that we have managed to find time for such interesting contributions to be made on this Amendment, and I rise now to see if I can persuade the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) that what has been said from this side of the Committee has very great force in it.

The right hon. Gentleman in his speech was talking about those members of the Territorial Army—part-time National Service men—who had an association with units of the Territorial Army. My hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeenshire, West (Mr. Hendry) has raised this point very succinctly indeed. He said that there are two types—those who want to be in, and those who have got to be in. Those who want to be in are those who volunteer, and there is nothing to stop anybody volunteering for the Territorial Army as such, provided that we do not go through the ceiling of the establishment of the Territorial Army. The fact that so many people are on the books of the Territorial Army is a purely administrative arrangement for which probably the right hon. Gentleman himself had some responsibility in the past. It may be that in certain circumstances we could call up these people, but, for a long time now, this has merely been a bookkeeping job, and I can assure him that now there is no association with the units today.

I have not stopped anything. It has just evolved, and people are purely on the books. That is why I am trying to explain again, because if we were under that illusion, the right hon. Gentleman would have great force in his argument. He can take it from me that nowadays these people are purely on the hooks, and, to all intents and purposes, they are no different from those people not on the books of the T.A., but who were merely serving their part-time responsibilities as National Service men.

There is no training liability, and I will come to that point later.

There could be only two reasons for the Amendment, as I see it. I do not want to accept Amendments unless they improve the Bill, and I do not think this would improve the Bill, for two reasons. The two reasons for wanting this Amendment are, first, because the Committee does not like the Territorial Army, or the control which it exercises or the functions which it carries out. I do not think any hon. Member would carry that argument. I am sure that one of the reasons for producing this new voluntary force inside the Territorial Army has been my desire and that of my colleagues to give it a shot in the arm and a new sense of purpose. This is very important.

If we accept the fact that the Territorial Army has a great job to perform today, do not let us regard this Clause purely as meaning that I am wanting men and might get more men if I accepted the Amendment. I am not just wanting men. As one of my hon. Friends has said, I am wanting a corps d'élite, the best men; and I believe that the best men will all be prepared to volunteer to serve in the Territorial Army.

The other reason why the Amendment might have some purpose would be if it were designed as a way in which a part-time National Service man could avoid being called up under Clause 2. If this was designed to give a man who might be called up as a Clause 2 man an alibi to get out and get the bounty, I would not have drafted this Bill correctly, but it is not designed to do that. It is purely a question of a man who volunteers to join the Territorial Army as a part-time National Service man after having been selected. There must be selection by the commanding officer. My hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) said—and it may have been a slip of the tongue—that if he volunteered he would have to be accepted, but part of the Clause says that the commanding officer has the right to accept or reject a volunteer. If he does volunteer and is accepted, he goes in with priority over the existing men in the Territorial Army. Some people may regard this as unfair, in that he can earn his bounty without having to wait a year. The reason I have had to do that is that there are, on the short-term, probably more part-time National Service men who have no recent experience of the Regular Army than many of the men in the Territorial Army. We are not being unfair to them; if anything, we are giving them a slight edge on the men in the Territorial Army.

4.45 p.m.

The right hon. Gentleman, in developing his argument, asked what was the difference between the Clause 2 man who has come out of the Regular Army and a Territorial. There may not be much difference now, but this is a long-term concept, and I made this very plain in my Second Reading speech. It is not a way of plugging holes. I am introducing it in this Bill because it needs legislation, and I want to get it started as soon as I can. In so far as it is successful, as I believe it will be, it will have the effect of requiring fewer part-time National Service men to be called up should we have an emergency. It is a long-term concept. I have to think about the time when there are no longer any National Service men. Four years from now, when we will not have any, I want this to be a really crack corps of people on whom we can call in an emergency. In order to do that, they must be trained. There is not much disparity now between the two types, but later on these men will be those on whom we shall depend. It is therefore essential that, from the beginning, these men should do their training.

Will these "Ever-readies" be trained as separate units or trained alongside ordinary volunteers in the Territorial Army who do do not undergo exceptional training? Are there to be two types of training?

I am not sure that I am not liable to stray outside the rules of order if I answer that. This is something which we could perhaps discuss on the Motion, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." I think it is rather far from this Amendment, but I am in the hands of the Chairman if I am allowed to pursue it. There will be various types of training. We shall need administrative men and the "teeth arm" men, but by and large the "Ever-readies" will train in the normal way with the Territorial Army. In so far as there may be sections of the "Ever-readies" who require training with more sophisticated material or in special ways, I may have to make arrangements for these people to do their training in special ways or indeed attach them to the Regular Army.

In order to earn their bounty, they will have to have done their annual training with the Territorial Army, and unless they are embodied in the T.A. and do their training, we may get people who will take the opportunity of taking a jolly good £150, join up as an "Ever-ready", slip through the examination by being rather a slick chap and then not turn up to do anything. The fact that he does not get his £150 does not matter to me, but the fact he is keeping another good man out does matter to me. It is an essential part of the scheme that if we are to create a corps d'elite, it must be part of the T.A., and I do not believe that the men we want will not want to join.

I see absolutely no reason why we should accept the Amendment. I was very impressed by what was said by my hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury (Mr. J. Morrison), whom I was very glad to see here taking part in the debate, in view of his great knowledge, my hon. Friends the Members for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw), Dorset, North (Sir Richard Glyn) and Ormskirk who all pressed upon me the point that if called up these men should be called up in subunits. On Second Reading, I went as far as I possibly could on this point. I have said that as the reason for all this is to call up individual men—I have called them round pegs for round holes—I cannot give an undertaking that the normal course will be to call them up in units. I repeat that if it is possible to call men up in sub-units this will be borne in mind by the Army Council, and the Territorial Army Advisory Council has already put this point to me.

In regard to the question of the age limit, the age limit for the T.A.E.R. will follow the same age limit as in the Territorial Army in the different parts of it. There will also be an establishment.

My hon. Friend talked about the age limit as well, and seniority goes with it. The age limit will be the same as in the Territorial Army, and seniority will be dealt with in this way. There will be an establishment for the "Ever-readies", but I cannot say now what the establishment will be, because it will vary.

The establishment in the "Ever-readies" will really represent the shortages in the Regular Army, and they will vary. I must allow them to vary, or it will not serve its purpose. In one year the establishment might be such as to allow my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk to become a colonel. I could almost promise him that he would become a colonel if he would go in one of the "difficult" corps. In another year the establishment might be such that it would not take my hon. Friend at all. This would be a matter of great regret, but he would be told on volunteering whether he would be accepted. I believe that this matter will work itself out.

Alternatively, my hon. Friend could consider doing what many people will do, namely, volunteering for the "Ever-readies" and dropping his rank altogether and becoming a corporal cook. Then he might get in at once. The point is that the "Ever-readies" will be mixed-teeth arms and administrative units to suit the shortages existing in the Army at any time. I believe that the only way to do this is that which is proposed in the Bill. Therefore, I very much regret that I cannot accept the Amendment.

It has not been unknown in the T.A. for somebody to go through all the ranks and eventually command a unit and then join again as a private especially in the Parachute Regiment. Will that be permitted here? Will my hon. Friend the Member for Ormskirk (Sir D. Glover) be able to join the Parachute Regiment as a private in spite of the fact that he holds a Territorial Army commission?

I do not think that under the Clause he could join the Parachute Regiment as a private. We are only considering the "Ever-readies". If he had been a colonel in the Parachute Regiment, he could join the Territorial unit and serve as an other rank, if he was accepted, as I am sure that he would be, and if he was prepared to join as another rank and could show himself to be proficient in one of the categories for which there was an establishment in the "Ever-readies" at that time.

We are very glad to enroll the Territorials this afternoon. They have joined the Regulars. We have not seen much of them in the course of the debate. There is very little likelihood that any of them will volunteer for the "Ever-readies", despite the incentive of the bounty, not that they require a bounty. However, I will not go into their financial position.

Something has been gained from this debate. We have managed to elucidate some very valuable information on the subject of training, but I am not entirely satisfied, I want to direct attention to what seems to me to be an anomaly. I am not dealing now so much with the man who is undergoing his reserve liability and is associated on paper with the Territorial Army. I am dealing with the man whom the right hon. Gentleman proposes to call up for another six months under Clause 2.

If a man is to be called up for another six months, having undergone his two years' National Service training, surely he is entitled to some consideration. I am not speaking of the ordinary man, the man who is "fed up", who displays no enthusiasm, who is not keen on the Army, and who is glad to get away from it. I am speaking about the man who is to be called up, not merely retained.

If he is already serving and is to be retained for a further period, he is retained under Clause 1. I am speaking about the man who is out of the service but who is brought back for another six months under Clause 2

If such men are to be brought back for another six months, the reason they are recalled to the Service is that, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, they can perform adequate military service. I want some consideration for these men, apart from volunteering for the Territorials and becoming "Ever-readies".

It is true that it is a considerable time since I was associated with the Territorial Army. I want to make it clear that in what I said earlier I was not criticising the colonels, majors, captains, etc. When I spoke about the Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association, I was speaking of the people at the top. I doubt whether many of them are within the category of colonels, majors or subordinate officers.

What troubles me about this proposition is not so much the idea of the "Ever-readies". Although some of us do not accept the principle of the Bill, and think that it is quite unnecessary, I am bound to say that the idea of the "Ever-readies" seems to be an excellent one, provided that there is no discrimination. That is what troubles me. There will be two sections in the Territorial Army. One section will be composed of these volunteers, who will receive £150 and other emoluments. They will be associated with the ordinary Territorials, who receive nothing at all and who undergo some perfunctory annual training and a few drills a year. The "Ever-readies" will have to undergo more adequate training and may have to serve for six months. They are to receive a different form of training.

I cannot understand this discrimination, although I am bound to say that the explanation that the right hon. Gentleman has just given of his intention to select men for special tasks, apart from the ordinary Territorial training, seems to be much more satisfactory. I do not know how it will work out. It may not work out too well, but I can see the advantage in it, because then men with exceptional ability can perform exceptional tasks which are worth while and add to the efficiency of the force. Nevertheless, if my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench think that the Amendment is worth while and has substance, I will join them in the Division Lobby.

I want to make one short point to the Secretary of State by way of elucidating something arising from what my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) has just said. My right hon. Friend said that the "Ever-readies" with a bounty of £150 a year, if they go on to re-engage, will be serving with Territorials who will be receiving nothing. That is not quite true. The Territorials will be receiving a bounty.

I think that it is £60. For how long does the Minister envisage that he will want to keep the "Ever-readies" going? He said on Second Reading:

"The primary object, therefore, of Clause 3 is to provide a trained reserve ready to supplement the Regular Army at short notice."—[OFFICIAL. REPORT, 27th November, 1961; Vol. 650, c. 52.]
I do not know how it appears to the right hon. Gentleman, but I believe that if keen Territorials who joined because they were interested in the Territorial Army and who receive a bounty serve alongside the "Ever-readies", who are to receive a much higher bounty, consideration should be paid to the question of differentiation. I will not say that this state of affairs would affect morale adversely, because the answer presumably is that the "Ever-readies" have an obligation to be called out quickly which the ordinary Territorials have not. No doubt the Secretary of State considered this aspect when formulating the scheme.

On the question of morale, we must be careful that we do not weight the balance so that there will be two groups of men, one receiving a small bounty but doing the same work as the other receiving a larger bounty but under the obligation to be called out in an emergency. It might affect comradeship. How long does the right hon. Gentleman think he will want to keep the "Ever-readies" scheme going? What does he think about the point I have just made as to the differentiation between two forms of Territorials?

5.0 p.m.

I hope that when the Secretary of State replies he will make the training position positively clear. It appears to me that the "Ever-readies" and the Territorials will not be doing the same type of training. They may do a certain amount in common, but the "Ever-ready" force, which will be liable to call-up, will have to be specially trained and skilled in acts which will not affect ordinary Territorial units.

This problem gives me considerable concern. I have been studying the Clause, trying to ascertain how this system of dovetailing the "Ever-readies" with the Territorials will work out. Having read the Second Reading speeches and some of those made on previous Amendments, whether we like it or not, there is some confusion as to whether the "Ever-readies" are going to become a Territorial unit within the Territorial Association. If they are, then the bounty problem—so much for the "Ever-readies" and nothing, apart from perhaps some ex-gratia payment, for the Territorials—is bound to be raised. It is bound to affect loyalty, comradeship and the men's interest in the Service generally.

I am at a loss to understand how two distinct services can he dovetailed in this way. After all, an "Ever-ready" is a soldier whom we expect to call up at short notice. He is advanced in training and knows the techniques of war and military establishments. That is the type of person I conceive to be an "Ever-ready" soldier. If my picture of him is correct and if he is to receive £150, it would appear that he must have some form of advanced training as a normal Territorial Association member.

How is this training to be performed? How will these men receive their knowledge? I can visualise the "Ever-readies" having to be taken to study some of the warheads in the south of England. To study these operations these men would require to be moved to that part of the country, just as we would have to move a number of "Ever-readies" from Scotland. Surely the Secretary of State does not propose to move the whole of the Territorial Army or Territorial Association? If not, how does he propose to get over this problem on behalf of a section of the Service which we require to be ready for call-up at a moment's notice?

Since this problem has arisen, I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will clarify the position and explain just how far "Ever-readies" will be dovetailed into the existing Territorial units. If that is what the right hon. Gentleman has in mind, it is something more than these men really being retained at home doing two or three nights drill on a firing range or something of that sort. There seems to be a good deal more for the "Ever-readies" to do than I had previously thought.

The £150 bounty will not be a snowball, for these are the soldiers who will be available at short notice should—and let us hope any situation requiring them can be avoided—the country require defending. I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will clear this matter up and explain how far the "Ever-readies" can be dovetailed into the Territorial units.

I began my speech on this Amendment in an inquiring frame of mind, expecting, frankly, that the answers I would get from the Secretary of State would be rather more detailed and that a better case would be put forward than has so far happened. All that has happened is that we have seen appear in the Chamber one or two hon. Members whom we have not seen earlier during our discussions on the Bill, and it appears that several of them have been officers in the Territorial Army and have made speeches in support of it. I do not disagree With them, but I have the impression—

On a point of order. This is the third time this innuendo has been made. My hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw), my hon. Friend the Member for Dorset, North (Sir Richard Glyn) and myself were in the House all day yesterday and have been here today.

I have just come to the Chair and am not yet familiar with the discussion earlier. So far I have not heard anything particularly objectionable.

It is true that some hon. Gentlemen opposite have been in and out of the Chamber, but not all of those who have come in and have defended—and rightly so—the Territorial Army and the existence or creation within it of this new Territorial Army Reserve have been here thoughout the discussion.

We have heard one or two conflicting views. I heard the Secretary of State say that he wanted to create an elite in the Territorial Army, and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) said that he did not want to see an elite rushing around saying, "We are the men who matter. We are in the special reserve and can be whisked away as soon as trouble starts." I got the impression that many hon. Gentlemen opposite were primarily con cerned with keeping this particular "perk" of membership of the "Ever-readies"—the £150 bounty—because some people are trying to make out—and I see the Secretary of State shaking his head, but it is, nevertheless, the case—that this is a nice "perk". The Secretary of State referred to this—the £150 bounty and how wonderful it would be for a man to have the money to buy his wife a present, and so on. The right hon. Gentleman put that forward as being a good thing and implied that hundreds of people would be rushing in to get it.

I have the impression that some hon. Gentlemen opposite closely connected with the Territorial Army are concerned to make sure that this "perk" remains completely within the grasp of the Territorial Army. I am not convinced, so far, that it is absolutely necessary for this to be done, since I believe that we are primarily concerned in this Clause and in these provisions, not with improving, creating or expanding the Territorial Army, but in making sure that men are available—as and when they are required—to fill gaps in the Regular Army. Is that not the reason for this provision?

I suggest that it is not absolutely necessary, therefore, to bar the small and diminishing number of people concerned in the Amendment. We have been told that there are two types of Territorial Army soldier among National Service men; those who want to be in and those who have got to be in. That may be true, but I know that among my personal contacts are young men who have finished their National Service in particular branches of the Army. They come out, some of them with commissions in the Ordnance Corps and the Engineers, and are posted to Territorial regiments whose functions have absolutely no connection whatever with the functions of the units in which they served during their National Service. The point is that those units happen to be convenient and, as the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dorset, North (Sir Richard Glyn) pointed out, they were on the books.

There has been no incentive for these men to become active in these units since they know virtually nothing about those units' work, although they know a lot about the work of the units in which they did their National Service. I do not think that these men can necessarily be described as either wanting to be in or having to be in. I suppose their names were on the units' lists and they were posted there without consideration being given to the specialised work they had been doing during their National Service.

This question—the type of work men have been doing during National Service—may be one of the round holes to be filled in the Regular Army by means of the Territorial Emergency Reserve. Is it not the case that someone employed in the Army while doing his National Service as a radar mechanic and who is now working full time at that job is on the books of his local Territorial regiment? Is it to be said that a man in that position, doing his job full-time, would not be trained sufficiently to become a very suitable "Ever-ready"? Is it to be said that a man in that position must be available to do at least 20 drills a year with his Territorial Army unit to be able to fill that round hole in the Regular Army? I believe that the Secretary of State thinks it is, but a man employed full-time in a factory doing this sort of work probably has at his disposal much better facilities to ensure that he knows his job than he would in the Territorial Army. [An HON. MEMBER: "But not militarily."] Not militarily, no. Nevertheless, there is a round hole in the Regular Army that he could probably fill, and it is assumed that he could be brought straight in under Clause 2 and be put into the round hole without the military training—

This is most important, because, frankly, it goes to the failure of the military authorities to post ex-National Service men to units of the same arm as that in which they are trained which is known as rebadging. The failure exists, and everyone regrets it, and the whole difficulty arises in this way. To belong to the "Ever-readies" a man must be accepted by the commanding officer, and I believe that to be sound. Suppose that the man is a radar mechanic, a most valuable man, who is posted to a unit which has no work for radar mechanics, that unit cannot train him in that job. The commanding officer cannot recommend him as a radar mechanic because he has never seen him act as a radar mechanic, and may not be able to recommend him as an ordinary soldier because the man has never trained with him as such.

Order. This was only an intervention to start with, but it seems to be developing into a pretty good speech.

Nevertheless, Mr. Williams, it touches on something that I should like to mention a little later.

One must look also at one or two other trades. Take the man, for example, who served in the Royal Army Service Corps or some other unit, as a motor mechanic and is now working full-time in that trade in a garage. Before being called upon to do his National Service he might have served an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic. He has then done his National Service and has gone back to his trade. Is it to be suggested that because he is on the list of a Territorial Army unit but is not doing the 20 or 30 drills a year he could not effectively, and without further training, fill a motor mechanic's position at the necessary rank in a unit that needed such men for the period of an emergency which necessitated the calling up of the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve—

In the case of a motor mechanic, that is such a usual trade that it would be almost impossible to find a unit in the locality that could not use his skill.

Yes, in the case of that trade I would agree, but if a man in a trade like that is willing to accept an obligation to be called up for up to six months in any period of 12 months, why should he be compelled—and we are only talking of those who have done their National Service and so have had fairly recent military training—to join and to play a full part in a Territorial Army unit with which he will probably never be on active service?

If he were a volunteer member of the Terriorial Army and an "Ever-ready" and was recalled as an "Ever-ready", I would say that, despite the provisions of the Bill and the undertaking that the Secretary of State has given, it is almost certain that he would not go back to that Territorial Army unit if it were later embodied. He would be already fully employed with another unit that had, perhaps, gone to where the trouble was long before the Territorial Army unit was embodied. The key men and officers in the Territorial Army unit would not be affected, because he would probably never serve with them in any case. On the other hand, he has had military training as a National Service man at some time not long past and may well know a trade for which there is a vacancy in the Regular Army.

The same could apply to a medical orderly. A man may have been a medical orderly during his National Service and afterwards be working as a full-time medical orderly in a hospital. While not willing to do regular training in the Territorial Army, he may be willing to accept an obligation in the Emergency Reserve. If he has been a medical orderly in the Army some little time previously and is now working full-time as a fully-trained medical orderly in a hospital, I see no reason why we should insist on his doing a number of drills in the Territorial Army in the meantime.

The same thing could apply to such particular and peculiar categories of men as interpreters, or those who look after the storage of the liquid oxygen that is needed for the refuelling of rockets, and so on. I am fairly certain that there are not many Territorial Army units that need men to attend to the storage of liquid oxygen, but I am equally sure that there are round holes for that sort of man in the Regular Army. There are only a comparatively small number of men in the sort of trades I have mentioned, and I do not see why the Bill should specifically exclude them from joining the Territorial Army Reserve unless they volunteer in the way prescribed.

Division No. 59.]

AYES

[5.18 p.m.

Agnew, Sir PeterBarlow, Sir JohnBiggs-Davison, John
Aitken, W. T.Barter, JohnBingham, R. M.
Allason, JamesBatsford, BrianBishop, F. P.
Arbuthnot, JohnBaxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)Black, Sir Cyril
Ashton, Sir HubertBell, RonaldBossom, Clive
Atkins, HumphreyBennett, F. M. (Torquay)Bourne-Arton, A.
Balniel, LordBerkeley, HumphryBox, Donald
Barber, AnthonyBiffen, JohnBoyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J.

5.15 p.m.

It has been argued that there might be resentment if a man of that type were able to get into the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve and draw £150 while other volunteers to the Territorial Army were unable to do so. There are, however, adequate safeguards against that. First, the commanding officer of the unit has to make a recommendation. If the commanding officer is informed by the War Office, or by whatever level may deal with the matter, that so many men in certain categories are required and that he should suggest suitable men, he will obviously, when making his recommendations, give priority to men who are volunteer members of the Territorial Army.

On the other hand, if there are still gaps to be filled, Why should that officer be stopped by the provisions of this Bill from putting forward the names of anyone else who is on the list but who is not active as a volunteer member of the Territorial Army? Even after that recommendation has been made there must, in view of the vacancies available, be further screening by people other than the Territorial Army unit's commanding officer. There are, therefore, plenty of safeguards to make sure that the Territorial Army volunteer soldier has first chance in this Reserve, but I think that it would be wrong for this Clause to make it impossible for a man who is simply on the list of a regiment, having done his National Service, to be brought into the Reserve in this way.

I hope that even at this stage the Minister will be prepared to change his mind—there are plenty of safeguards for the volunteer Territorial Army soldier—but if the right hon. Gentleman will not accept this Amendment, we shall have no choice but to divide the Committee.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause:—

The Committee divided: Ayes 229, Noes 146.

Boyle, Sir EdwardHocking, Philip N.Proudfoot, Wilfred
Braine, BernardHolland, PhilipPym, Francis
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterHollingworth, JohnRamsden, James
Brown, Alan (Tottenham)Holt, ArthurRawlinson, Peter
Browne, Percy (Torrington)Hughes-Young, MichaelRedmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Bryan, PaulHulbert, Sir NormanRees-Davies, W. R.
Buck, AntonyHutchison, Michael ClarkRenton, David
Bullard, DenysIremonger, T. L.Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
Bullus, Wing Commander EricIrvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Ridsdale, Julian
Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A.(Saffron Walden)James, DavidRippon, Geoffrey
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn)Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Carr, Compton (Barons Court)Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)Robertson, Sir D. (C'thn's & S'th'ld)
Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Johnson Smith, GeoffreyRobinson, Rt Hn Sir R. (B'pool, S.)
Cary, Sir RobertKerans, Cdr. J. S.Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Channon, H. P. G.Kerby, Capt. HenryRoots, William
Chichester-Clark, R.Kerr, Sir HamiltonBoyle, Charles (Salford, West)
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)Kershaw, AnthonySandys, Rt. Hon. Duncan
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)Kirk, PeterScott-Hopkins, James
Cleaver, LeonardLancaster, Col. C. G.Seymour, Leslie
Cole, NormanLeburn, GilmourSharples, Richard
Collard, RichardLewis, Kenneth (Rutland)Shaw, M.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.Linstead, Sir HughSimon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn
Corfield, F. V.Litchfield, Capt. JohnSmith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)
Costain, A. P.Longbottom, CharlesSmithers, Peter
Craddock, Sir BeresfordLongden, GilbertSmyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir OliverLoveys, Walter H.Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher
Curran, CharlesLucas, Sir JocelynSpearman, Sir Alexander
Dance, JamesLucas-Tooth, Sir HughStevens, Geoffrey
Digby, Simon WingfieldMacArthur, IanSteward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
du Cann, EdwardMcLaughlin, Mrs. PatriciaStodart, J. A.
Duncan, Sir JamesMcMaster, Stanley R.Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir DavidMacmillan, Maurice (Halifax)Tapsell, Peter
Eden, JohnMacpherson, Niall (Dumfries)Taylor, Frank(M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.Temple, John M.
Elliott, R. W.(Nwcastle-upon-Tyne, N.)Marshall, DouglasThatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. EvelynMarten, NeilThomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
Erroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.Mathew, Robert (Honiton)Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)
Fell, AnthonyMatthews, Gordon (Meriden)Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)
Finlay, GraemeMaudling, Rt. Hon. ReginaldThornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin
Fisher, NigelMawby, RayThorpe, Jeremy
Fletcher-Cooke, CharlesMaxwell-Hyslop, R. J.Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon
Freeth, DenzilMills, StrattonTurner, Colin
Gammans, LadyMore, Jasper (Ludlow)Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Gardner, EdwardMorgan, WilliamTweedsmuir, Lady
Gibson-Watt, DavidMorrison, Johnvan Straubenzee, W. R.
Gilmour, Sir JohnMott-Radclyffe, Sir CharlesVaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Glover, Sir DouglasNicholson, Sir GodfreyVickers, Miss Joan
Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir RichardWade, Donald
Goodhart, PhilipOakshott, Sir HendrieWakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Goodhew, VictorOrr-Ewing, C. IanWakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)Walker, Peter
Green, AlanPage, Graham (Crosby)Wall, Patrick
Gresham Cooke, R.Page, John (Harrow, West)Ward, Dame Irene
Gurden, HaroldPannell, Norman (Kirkdale)Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Hall, John (Wycombe)Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)Webster, David
Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)Peel, JohnWells, John (Maidstone)
Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)Percival, IanWilliams, Dudley (Exeter)
Harris, Reader (Heston)Pickthorn, Sir KennethWilliams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Harvie Anderson, MissPike, Miss MervynWilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Hastings, StephenPilkington, Sir RichardWise, A. R.
Hay, JohnPitman, Sir JamesWolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir LionelPitt, Miss EdithWood, Rt. Hon. Richard
Hendry, ForbesPott, PercivallWoodhouse, C. M.
Hicks Beach, Maj. W.Powell, Rt. Hon. J. EnochWoollam, John
Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)Price, David (Eastleigh)Worsley, Marcus
Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)Prior, J. M. L.Yates, William (The Wrekin)
Hirst, GeoffreyPrior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
Hobson, JohnProfumo, Rt. Hon. JohnTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Whitelaw and Mr. McLaren

NOES

Ainsley, WilliamBrockway, A. FennerDavies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.)Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Davies, Harold (Leek)
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Brown, Thomas (Ince)Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J.Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Deer, George
Bence, CyrilButler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)Dempsey, James
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Callaghan, JamesDiamond, John
Benson, Sir GeorgeCastle, Mrs. BarbaraDodds, Norman
Blackburn, F.Cliffe, MichaelDriberg, Tom
Boardman, H.Collick, PercyEde, Rt. Hon. C.
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)Corbet, Mrs. FredaEdwards, Walter (Stepney)
Bowles, FrankCrosland, AnthonyEvans, Albert
Boyden, JamesDarling, GeorgeFernyhough, E.

Fitch, AlanKenyon, CliffordRedhead, E. C.
Fletcher, EricKey, Rt. Hon. C. W.Reynolds, G. W.
Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)King, Dr. HoraceRhodes, H.
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)Lipton, MarcusRobertson, John (Paisley)
Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. HughLoughlin, CharlesRobinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Ginsburg, DavidMabon, Dr. J. DicksonRoss, William
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.McCann, JohnShinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Gourlay, HarryMacColl, JamesSilverman, Julius (Aston)
Greenwood, AnthonyMcInnes, JamesSilverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Grey, CharlesMcKay, John (Wallsend)Skeffington, Arthur
Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Mackie, John (Enfield, East)Sorensen, R. W.
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Spriggs, Leslie
Hamilton, William (West Fife)Mallalieu. J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.)Steele, Thomas
Hannan, WilliamManuel, A. C.Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Hart, Mrs. JudithMapp, CharlesStorehouse, John
Hayman, F. H.Marsh, RichardStrachey, Rt. Hon. John
Healey, DenisMayhew, ChristopherStrauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)
Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)Mellish, R. J.Swain, Thomas
Herbison, Miss MargaretMendelson, J. J.Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Hilton, A. V.Millan, BruceThornton, Ernest
Holman, PercyMilne, EdwardTomney, Frank
Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Mitchison, G. R.Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Monslow, WalterWainwright, Edwin
Hunter, A. E.Moody, A. S.Warbey, William
Hynd, H. (Accrington)Morris, JohnWells, Percy (Faversham)
Hynd, John (Attercliffe)Moyle, ArthurWells, William (Walsall, N.)
Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill)Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)White, Mrs. Eirene
Irving, Sydney (Dartford)Oram, A. E.Whitlock, William
Janner, Sir BarnettPaget, R. T.Willey, Frederick
Jay, Rt. Hon. DouglasPannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)Williams, Ll. (Abertillery)
Jeger, GeorgePargiter, G. A.Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)Pavitt, LaurenceZilliacus, K.
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)Peart, Frederick
Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech(Wakefield)Plummer, Sir LeslieTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Jones, Dan (Burnley)Probert, ArthurMr. G. H. R. Rogers and
Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)Randall, HarryMr. Lawson.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Clause stand part of the Bill.

Having heard most of the interesting debate on the Amendment, I have been forced more and more to the conclusion that it has been a great mistake to involve the "Ever-readies" with the Territorial Army at all, because they are not part of the Territorial Army. In the sense of "Where are they going to fight if it comes to a fight?" the answer is, "Not with the Territorial Army".

As I understand the conception of the Bill, the people referred to in Clause 1 are being retained to keep up the numbers. After them, come the "Ever-readies".

The "Ever-readies", I gather, are people who shall be available to the Army to bring peacetime strength up to wartime strength, and, in particular, to provide technicians where they are required by the Regular Army. We learned during the course of the last debate that there is to be an establishment of "Ever-readies"—so many colonels, so many majors, so many radar mechanics, so many cooks, and so many hospital orderlies—available for the second call if any kind of movement from a peacetime to a wartime basis takes place. Therefore, long before anybody thinks about embodying the Territorials, the "Ever-readies" have gone from them. The "Ever-readies" will never serve with a Territorial battalion. They are there for precisely another purpose, that is to say, to build up the Regular Army where they are required.

5.30 p.m.

Why put them into the Territorial Army? I cannot believe that it will be very good for the Territorial Army to have with it a number of men receiving higher bonuses and taking no particular interest in the various units. The Territorial Army unit will never be their unit in any war circumstances. Will it be good for Territorial battalions to have these men who are not really a part of them, who will be taken away from them and who will be on a different basis, mixed up with them for no particular reason?

I quite see that, if a man is to receive a bonus, he should do something for it and keep himself up to date, but surely the Territorial Army is not the place for him to do it. The Territorial Army is seeking to make itself efficient as an army, as a regiment, as various units, having the men whom it trains for its purpose as an instrument of war, a unit in the line of battle, when the Territorial Army is embodied. But these other men will not be there. In the unit which the Territorial Army is creating most keenly and energetically, they will just be gaps; they will not be there. Is that a sensible or reasonable arrangement?

Do we not want a training organisation for the Ever-readies" as such, for embodiment as units if necessary? I do not think that it will happen very often but, for instance, if they were to be embodied as tank units, should they not be trained for that purpose and kept up to date? Far more often of course, they will require training within their particular trades. A man might be an Ever-ready "cook and a Territorial gunner. The Territorial unit in which he volunteers might say, "Splendid. We like you very much, but we have no vacancies for your trade. We are delighted to have you as a body but not in your trade". For the "Ever-ready" purpose he is a cook, but for the Territorial Army purpose he is a gunner, infantryman or bomber. That sort of thing can happen.

I remember that in my very small ship during the war I had detailed to me a chap whose civilian occupation was chef at one of the big Bournemouth hotels. I thought that this was absolutely spendid and we should do wonderfully well. He said, "No, Sir; I have volunteered for the Navy to have a change from cooking". A fair number of people who in the Regular Army had a particular trade, be it cook, hospital orderly or anything else, might well insist that they want a change and join the Territorial Army because they want to do a bit of shooting. How does one work that out? How does one fit it into the structure? It may be merely a question of taste.

In this matter, one has to work very much with the local Territorial Army unit, and that unit may have a sufficiency of one category. A chap may be keen. He will want to volunteer for the Territorials, but he will serve in another category. The category for which his training is required by the "Ever-readies" is not the one he exercises.

This does not seem to me to be an organisation which makes sense. On the one hand, we require a Territorial Army. I do not want to get out of order on this. I conceive that, as things develop, particularly in regard to Civil Defence—which I think ought to be a Territorial Army responsibility—in the sense of providing services and making this country at all points defensible and capable of fighting in the event of an air invasion, there is a real function for a Territorial Army. But that Territorial Army has always been conceived of as a Territorial Army, a local defence force. As such, it must train for that purpose and train people who will fight with it and who will learn the functions of the unit which will fight as a unit, not train people whom it will not see, and whose function after recall will be quite different from the Territorial Army function and will probably be with a unit having a quite different function. What we need here is a system for keeping "Ever-readies" up to date, not a system muddling up the Territorial Army by putting into it a lot of people who will not be available to the Territorial Army for the Territorial Army's purposes.

When we first debated this matter, one of my right hon. Friends said that he thought the "Ever-readies" were probably an excellent reserve provided that one did not use them for the purpose for which they had been invented. He went on to say that it would be very difficult to take a man out of a gasworks and send him into action straight away in a tropical country. Those are trenchant criticisms underlining the obvious difficulties which the scheme must arm itself to avoid.

During the course of our discussion on the Clause so far, there has been a general consensus of opinion that the way in which we shall avoid these difficulties is by the training which it will be necessary to give these men. We shall avoid difficulty only if we give them really adequate training. I believe that the suggestion that those who have done their service and for 3½ years are technically available for call-up again should be part of the "Ever-readies" runs up against the difficulty that there is no way of knowing from time to time, unless they are kept under observation, so to speak, exactly what their state of training and health is. As my right hon. Friend said, if we were to take a man from, say, work in a gasworks and send him to a tropical country, we might make it impossible for him to function and he might not be of any value to the Army when he got there. No doubt, in considering how this scheme will be administered, my right hon. Friend will bear very much in mind the essential qualification that the training of these men should be realistic and should enable them to take their place in the line at a moment's notice.

I do not think that recruiting of the "Ever-readies" will prove to be difficult. It will be a matter of choosing the right men and of training them in the right way to make sure that they are what we want. I think that in a way it might be difficult to find enough regular units to which they can go. I suppose that the majority of these volunteers will be the younger men without large domestic ties who will be willing to volunteer but will wish to join units of a certain type. The light units, such as the parachute units, will, I think, be able to attract a very large number of volunteers under this system. My right hon. Friend may wish to turn over in his mind whether it will not be worth while creating one or two additional regular units, confident in the idea that any gaps will be filled, if necessary, by the "Ever-readies".

How many "Ever-readies" do we want? There is bound to be a stop on the numbers which can be sensibly recruited. First, we have to consider the capacity of the Territorial Army to handle them. It has been said with some force by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) that we cannot have too large a cadre of "Ever-readies" within the bosom of the Territorial Army because, if so, it will be swamped and will have its morale decreased instead of increased by the thought that three-quarters or half of the unit is ready to go away at a moment's notice whereas the others are left behind to be the hewers of wood and drawers of water. On the other hand, in an emergency the very large gaps left in a territorial unit if a large number of "Ever-readies" left it would cripple that unit and make it impossible for it to function efficiently.

I hazard a wild guess and say that we do not need more than one "Ever-ready" in eight in a Territorial unit. I am not talking about specialist units, which may be in a different category, but I should have thought that in the case of ordinary front line units one "Ever-ready" in eight was about the maximum that my right hon. Friend would want. If he has that proportion in the Territorial Army, according to my calculations that would give him about 15,000 men. By happy chance, that is exactly the number that my right hon. Friend said he wants, at any rate for the time being. I hope that matters will work out in that way.

The second stop on recruiting would be the number of vacancies in the Regular Army that these men could efficiently fill. It is difficult to know what that number is. It depends on the size of regular recruiting and on the location of the Regular Army because it is easier to send an "Ever-ready" to units in Germany than it is to send him to units in Hong Kong. The number of vacancies required to be filled depends on the future of the Regular Army.

I do not think that the financial consideration is of great importance. If one eighth, as I have suggested, of the Territorial Army were part of the "Ever-readies", I calculate that at the rate of £150 it would cost about £2½ million a year. If we can have an efficient reserve at a cost of £2½ million extra to what we spend at the moment, I think that that is a good bargain. If sensibly handled, it will be of value, not only to the Regular Army in wartime or in an emergency, but to the Territorial Army in times of peace.

5.45 p.m.

I agree with the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) that the "Ever-readies" should be adequately trained. If not, there is no purpose in this scheme. However, the hon. Gentleman proceeds on the assumption that no difficulty will be experienced in obtaining an adequate supply of recruits for this service. Of course, the bounty will be an incentive. No doubt many of the younger men will grasp at it. But we have yet to learn exactly what services are required of them. Under the Bill, they are expected to serve six months each year over a period. That period has not been clearly defined. Men who leave their civilian occupations and enter this service, with all the uncertainty attached to a return to their ordinary vocations, may consider seriously Whether the incentive is worth while.

Nevertheless, I agree with the hon. Member for Stroud—I noticed that my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) assented when the hon. Gentleman said this—that this would be a very useful service in times of emergency. In the interests of our security, as a possible deterrent against aggression and in order to deal with trouble which may occur from time to time in those theatres with which we are concerned, the scheme might be very useful. But a great deal depends on whether we obtain an adequate supply of recruits, on whether they are properly trained and on whether they care to continue in the service.

Yesterday in our debates the subject of a bounty for these men was under review. It was said that the difference between the bounty which is to be the incentive for these men, £150, and certain other emoluments should not be provided for other men who are to be brought back to serve after having undertaken their two years' National Service liability, who are in the reserve and who are asked to serve another six months.

There is an Amendment on the Notice Paper in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) which is supported by myself and by other hon. Members, including the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr. B. Harrison), referring to the bounty. Incidentally, my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley asked me this morning to apologise to the Committee for his non-attendance. He is not at all well and I think that he should not have attended the Committee yesterday. He made a great many speeches which probably taxed his strength. To return to the Amendment, I had the opportunity this morning of consulting the Chairman of Ways and Means, who informed me that it would not be selected but that its subject-matter could be mentioned in the debate on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

My reason for reverting to this subject is this. Yesterday there was considerable controversy about a matter which I raised. Indeed, there was a suspicion that what I was saying was not in accordance with the facts. Even the Minister was a little confused. He was reading some of the Army documents on the subject of pay which seemed to contradict what I was saying. Unfortunately, I did not have with me the communication that the Secretary of State sent to me some time ago before the Recess when I asked a Question or two on the subject of pay.

What I said yesterday was that the National Service man who was to be retained for another six months or the National Service man undertaking his reserve liability who could be called up for six months' additional service would receive 11s. a day, whereas the Regular soldier, when he enlisted under the provisions of the six-year engagement, would receive 16s. a day. I regarded that as an extraordinary disparity. I could not see why a man who had two years' service and was called up for another six months should receive only 11s. a day whereas the man who enlisted for the six-year engagement should immediately receive 16s. a day.

My statement was contradicted. Indeed, there was great doubt whether I was accurate. Now, I produce the communication which the Secretary of State sent me, as I informed him I would do. It states that for a private 2nd Grade this is the sort of average that we are dealing with—the basic pay, Scale "A", is 16s. a day and that the National Service equivalent for over 18 months' service at age 21 is 11s. a day.

As hon. Members are aware, a National Service man before the expiry of 18 months' service receives a lower rate of pay. After 18 months, the pay goes up. At present, apparently, it is 11s. a day after 18 months' service and, of course, it would be the same when the men return for an additional six months' service. I regard that as too great a disparity.

I raised the subject because some of us thought that the men who were brought back into the Service should receive the bounty of £150 or, at least, some compensation, and there was a good deal of support for that view. Indeed, some hon. Members opposite thought that on the basis of the figures I then submitted, which obviously were open to doubt, because I did not have the communication with me, if the Secretary of State could not remunerate those men, not necessarily to the extent of £150, but to the extent of say, 50 per cent. or a percentage of some kind, he might at least remove the differentiation between the 16s. and the 11s.

I do not ask the right hon. Gentleman at this stage to give a definite undertaking. That would be asking too much, because, obviously, this is a matter for the financial department at the War Office and for the Treasury to consider and he might have considerable trouble with the Treasury. I know what my experience has been in the past. At least, the views of hon. Members should be expressed and have an influence on the Secretary of State.

In face of these facts, I ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider, between now and Report, which I understand will be next week, some arrangement whereby the differentiation between the 11s. normal pay of the National Service man and the 16s. normal pay for the man who undertakes a six-year engagement should be removed, even if the National Service man does not receive the full 16s. a day. That is my submission. There is logic in it and justice behind it.

I have not the least doubt that the Clause will be accepted. The provision of the "Ever-readies" is not one to which we take strong exception. All I hope is that it works effectively and that the Secretary of State obtains the men he wants. Perhaps I may warn him that some time, perhaps six or twelve months from now, we may interrogate him and ask him how many recruits he has enlisted for this service. I hope that he will be able then to give us a satisfactory answer.

I do not think that anybody will dispute the need for an additional reserve force as is laid down in the Bill. I can only speak of the matter as a practical Territorial Army officer at unit level. It seems to me that the remarks made by my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) require the attention of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. If my right hon. Friend gets the recruits which he envisages, I am doubtful about their training and whether there will be sufficient Regular units available to train them besides training their own people.

The speech by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) was equally valid. If these men are to come and drive one's vehicle for, say, practising for camp or normal Territorial duties which are done in the units, and then there is some form of emergency and they are all removed, the adjutant of the local unit will certainly be presented with a problem.

The real anxiety is how we are to train these men. How will we be certain that if they are radar people they will get radar training? How will we be certain that they get the training which is needed? Like others in the Territorial Army, I have had thoughts about up-to-date training. For example, I have yet to hear the War Office approaching any of the other Services so that training could be given to units, and to "Ever-readies" who join these units, in the simplest things, such as how to stow and board a vehicle on an L.S.T.

I have been in the Territorial Army as an ordinary serving officer since 1956. I have never done that simple thing. The unit in which I serve has never been down to the shore and learnt how to put its vehicles inside an L.S.T. or boat. No loading drill has ever been done. I dare say that mobilisation schemes could be practised. We have never yet practised a full mobilisation scheme.

Then, we are told, the Territorial Army should always be ready to support the civil power at any moment and the "Ever-readies", too, will be required in the T.A. unit. How many exercises have we done to support the civil power or to move to an area where there has been a civil disturbance and where the T.A. was required? We have done none.

The Territorial Army is required in its rôle to be fully mobile and the "Ever-readies" must know how to take part in unit manoeuvres and, in particular, to move a unit from A to B by aircraft. How many T.A. units in the British Isles have ever attempted, even at troop level, let alone squadron level, to learn how to load any of their vehicels into an aircraft? I have had five years and I do not know one unit which yet could possibly know how to set about loading its vehicles into a Royal Air Force Transport Command aircraft.

If we are to train "Ever-readies", if we are to have an adequate Reserve and a Territorial Army that is an army and not just numbers in a paper army, the Secretary of State should talk to his colleagues in the other Services and see whether, during the next two or three years, he cannot persuade them to lend their support in helping to ensure that we can do some of the most simple things which any unit in the Territorial Army would be expected to do. The more we think of the "Ever-readies" as being in a unit and of the Services as being one unit the better for the country.

6.0 p.m.

If the Government's policy for training the "Ever-readies" is that we should make sure that we have a joint force, Army, Navy and Air Force, we should begin at Territorial Army level to do the simplest things with the other arms with which we must co-operate. I wish my right hon. Friend luck with the "Ever-readies". I hope that they are successful and that they will come forward in numbers, but there is nothing more disappointing to the volunteer or the "Ever-ready" who goes to the local unit and finds that he is practising for the Boer War or for the one before that.

It is quite a serious problem. The comradeship is there and the good will and keenness are there. Although the Minister is trying to obtain all the equipment that he can get, what is lacking is a little endeavour to learn about cooperation between Navy, Army and Air Force. The least that my right hon. Friend could do would be to see that if the Territorial Army is to be a valuable unit it can at least co-operate with the other Services.

There is no doubt that if the Committee passes the Clause and the Bill goes through in its present form the Secretary of State for War will have created an additional reserve for the Army. But with the difference that in the case of the other reserves he has to appear before the Committee once a year and present Estimates and tell us exactly what he wants. Because of the emergency which he told us is the primary reason why he wants to create this reserve, he gets away with it too easily. He has not told the Committee how many "Ever-readies" he wants and for how long he will keep this reserve in existence. All he has told us is that he wants an "Ever-ready" reserve, that he is prepared to pay them what I think is a good bounty, and away we go.

If this is the way that the Committee is to discuss business which will involve expenditure, it is no wonder that people outside criticise us for not being watchdogs of the public purse. It is no wonder that we are criticised if we allow the Government by sleight of hand to put a cheque on the table and say "Sign that" and we are not allowed to know the purpose for which the cheque is required.

I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman is quite sure what he wants the reserve for. He told us on Second Reading, on 27th November:
"The primary object…is to provide a trained reserve ready to supplement the Regular Army at short notice and increase the deterrent power of the conventional Army in times of serious tension short of actual hostilities."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 27th November, 196I; Vol. 650, c. 52.]
Yet the right hon. Gentleman tells us today that this reserve is to be a shot in the arm for the Territorial Army.

If that be so, the Committee is entitled to ask, as the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) hinted, what the rôle of the Territorial Army is to be. I understood that the "Ever-readies" are to be part of the Territorial Army. The Committee, therefore, is surely entitled to know what will be the rôle of the Territorial Army. It is all very well for the right hon. Gentleman to say, "I shall get X number of 'Ever-readies' and I shall call them up if I need them." How will he call them up, and what for? For the Territorial Army? But I understood that a large part of the Territorial Army has a sort of fire-fighting rôle and is still earmarked for Civil Defence to act as a fire brigade if hostilities should occur.

The Secretary of State should explain to the Committee just what he will do with the "Ever-readies" when he has got them. I would not know about their training in the Territorial Army. I have never been a member of the Territorial forces. I have merely done my bit in the Regular forces. Nevertheless, the Committee should never forget how the Territorial Army came into existence. It was a home service, but later in the First World War all that was changed and the Territorial Army was sent overseas. Presumably the same obligations remain today, otherwise this force of "Ever-readies" would be of little use to the right hon. Gentleman, if we take as gospel truth what he said on Second Reading, that this force will be a trained reserve ready to rush away without more ado when the bugle sounds.

I do not know what War Office genius thought of this title, "Ever-readies". It is a very good name. The Army has a reputation for improvising in all emergencies. It may be that I am doing the right hon. Gentleman some injustice. It may be that as he shaved with a certain kind of razor one morning he thought of this name, but the name of whoever thought of the name should be put on record, because in years to come, if we still have this "Ever-ready" force—

My right hon. Friend will recognise that "Ever-ready" is also the name of a battery.

The only relevance that I can see in that is that it is electric and, therefore, presumably dynamic.

I do not know whether that is the reason why this name was instituted, but in days to come a historian, perhaps a Fortescue or a Member of this House, will be writing the history of the British Army and will be able to pin-point the man who first thought of this name. It is a good name and I believe that it will have an impact and will produce a corps d'élite, as an hon. Member said earlier.

The more I consider this Clause and what this reserve is to be the more I wonder why Clause 2 was ever inserted in the Bill. If the right hon. Gentleman is successful, he will get all he wants unless he is budgeting here for only 3,000, 4,000 or 5,000 men. If he gets 15,000 or 20,000 "Ever-readies" that surely will destroy the argument which he has put forward as a reason for requiring Clause 2, namely, to have another reserve ready to be called up without Proclamation if he wants it.

As my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) has said, the Committee will not be mean in this matter. We shall not grudge the right hon. Gentleman this force. We shall never deny Her Majesty's Government, of whatever party, the means with which to protect the liberties of this country which are so often in danger from sources that can be easily identified. But at least the right hon. Gentleman should do us the justice and the courtesy of explaining more to us than he has done so far.

I agree that on all points of detail he has done his best to answer my right hon. Friend the Member for Easington, my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) and others who touched on the machinery and the technicalities of these Clauses, but we did not always have answers which satisfied us. My right hon. Friend the Member for Easing-ton ingeniously inserted in this debate, on the Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill", the left-overs of yesterday's debate on Clause 2, but he was not able to elicit a clear answer on the question of pay.

At a later stage tonight we may be able to get more information from the Secretary of State which would, perhaps, be inappropriate on this Clause, which deals with one particular branch, the "Ever-readies". I hope that he will do his best to answer the points which I put to him when discussing an Amendment a little while ago, but which he could not find time to answer then, because I have, I hope, included them in this speech.

It will well repay the right hon. Gentleman to get the sympathy of the Committee on this Clause, because I believe that it is the only one in the Bill that will receive more or less unanimous support. There is a great deal of mental reservation towards the other Clauses, and we have expressed that both on Second Reading and on those Clauses so far debated.

I want to say, first, how much I welcome the general concept of "Ever-readies". I cannot go the whole way with my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates), who criticised the extent of training of some Territorial units. His experience may be different, but I have served in a Territorial Regiment for the last thirteen years and during that time, particularly recently, we have had a number of exercises with civil defence units, have spent considerable time at annual camps exercising and learning about civil defence duties, and have also spent considerable time practising mobilisation schemes. Perhaps the yeomen of Yorkshire are better prepared than the yeomen of Shropshire.

I am sorry that the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) is not present while the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North (Mr. Coulson) makes his comments. If I remember his speech correctly, the hon. Member for The Wrekin was referring to certain exercises, which he detailed, such as exercises in loading aeroplanes and amphibious equipment, saying that territorial units did not, in practice, engage in this type of exercise.

I am not saying that it is their rôle, nor whether that is right or wrong. All I am saying is that the points being made by the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North were not, as he says, made by the hon. Member for The Wrekin. But I see that the hon. Member for The Wrekin has now returned to his place. Possibly the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull, North will now repeat these references, so that we can get this matter clear for the record.

My hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin told me that he would be leaving the Chamber before I was called to make my speech, so I know that we enjoy each other's confidence in this. The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West (Mr. Loughlin) has referred to the question of loading aircraft by Territorial soldiers. In my experience, that is not something which the Territorial Army has a mandate to do.

Perhaps that is so in my hon. Friend's experience, but surely, in the Territorial Army which we are trying to build, that is one of the things we must persuade the Secretary of State to introduce for the Territorial Army in the future.

That may be, but this is surely a red herring dragged across our path by the hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West, who so frequently does drag them across.

The hon. Member for Gloucestershire, West talks of presumption!

My hon. Friend the Member for the Wrekin referred to the question of civil defence and of having mobilisation schemes. I was dealing precisely with these points. There are practical doubts about the "Ever-ready" scheme. These arise, first, from what I may call the piecemeal nature of the scheme. There are difficulties here, because the Secretary of State wants particular men and particular types of trained men in particular places at certain times. If he wants that sort of thing, as I do, we cannot have a very cohesive scheme because individual people will be going away from particular Territorial units to reinforce Regular units.

6.15 p.m.

If the Secretary of State wishes the scheme to be a success, he will have to think of it in a wider concept than at the moment. Unless we do come to think of it in that wider concept, we might be in danger of doing away with the Territorial spirit entirely. There are two reasons for saying that. The first difficulty is that men are never particularly happy about volunteering by themselves. That is a well-known fact in the Army, and it is certainly true of the Territorial Army. I may be expressing a rather old-fashioned opinion, but I believe that most men join the Territorial Army in the first place, as I did, because they know that if there were trouble ahead they would have a chance of going into action, if they had to, with people they knew and had trained with for many years. That corporate spirit is an essential part of any unit, whether Territorial or Regular.

This idea of the corporate spirit was one of the original and key ideas in the founding of the Territorial Army. The Territorial Army has altered its ideas so that it can keep pace with modern developments, just as much as the Regular Army has. We have seen, in the last few years, considerable upsets both in the Regular Army and in the Territorial Army because of reorganisation schemes. But all these reorganisations have been very much to the benefit of both.

At the same time, all members of the Territorial Army are worried about what might happen in the future. They can see the dangers. I do not want my right hon. Friend inadvertently to give the impression that the Territorial Army in future is to be very largely a pool for reinforcing the Regular Army. That was the point made by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget), and I entirely agree with him.

If the Territorial Army is regarded largely as a pool for the Regular Army, then it is the beginning of the end of the Territorial spirit. I do not impute these motives to my right hon. Friend, for it is clear that he has not got them, but has the best interests of the whole of the Army, both Regular and Territorial, in mind. But I do point out the danger to the spirit of Territorial regiments if this sort of thing goes on.

The second difficulty is what has been called the denuding of the Territorial Army in times of crisis. This was also referred to by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton, but it is worth saying again, for it is a rather more serious difficulty than the one I have just mentioned. If the Government succeed in getting the men they want for the "Ever-readies", then, in time of tension, they will be called up before general mobilisation, That is the whole point of the scheme. This will mean that the key men needed in the Territorial Army will have been taken away and given to the Regular Army, which is robbing Peter to pay Paul—as simple as that.

If colonels of Territorial regiments think that this sort of thing is to happen, they may not use their best endeavours to persuade their men to join the "Ever-readies". That is a danger my right hon. Friend must face. For these two reasons—the difficulty of persuading individuals, with comradeship in their own units, to join units of "Ever readies", and the difficulty of persuading colonels of regiments to persuade, in turn, their men to join the Ever-readies "—I suggest two ideas.

First, will he carefully consider the formation of units of "Ever-readies"? I know that in some senses that might be contrary to his idea of "Ever-readies", but it has very great advantages. I am not suggesting large units as big as battalions or regiments, but there is a case for the creation of smaller units down to squadron or company level and certainly still smaller units than that, bands of drivers and signallers such as are to be found in the Reconnaissance Regiment of the Armoured Corps, where there is a very good corporate spirit.

These small units could be flown out at short notice to reinforce Regular units, but they would still retain the Territorial spirit and the men would not feel that they were being called up individually, one posted here, one there, thus losing that spirit of the Territorial Army which they had joined to enjoy.

My second suggestion is for transfer back to the Territorial unit after the men have been taken from the Territorial Army to reinforce Regular units. That may not be practically possible, but if it is, it would be a great consolation to commanding officers of Territorial units to be able to know that on general mobilisation they would get back the key men whom they had encouraged to join the Territorial Army and who formed an essential part of their units If my right hon. Friend will carefully consider my first suggestion and promise to do what he can about the second, I, for one, would be much more happy about the results of Clause 3.

Right hon. and hon. Members from both sides of the Committee who have intervened in the debate have discussed the provisions of this Clause as though they dealt with an emergency, but I cannot find the word "emergency" anywhere in the Bill. Whether the right hon. Gentleman calls up men or or not, so far as I can see he has power to do so without having any obligation to be satisfied of the need. When an emergency is mentioned in an Act of Parliament, there is generally some provision to say that the Minister who acts upon it shall be satisfied that it exists. When he comes to the House of Commons for the powers which he is entitled to exercise during an emergency, he can be questioned about it.

Having read the Bill very carefully, I cannot find a reference to an emergency. All that the Bill does is to enable the right hon. Gentleman to get a number of persons, with varied military experience, according to the Clause under which he operates, and retain them in, or recall them to, the Army. The Government are asking the House of Commons for a concession in the control over the country's manpower which is exceptional. Is there an emergency now?

Some people think that we are living in a perpetual emergency. Is it the same emergency that existed when the Bill was introduced? Can the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) help me about that?

I am not a Government adviser, but I would say that until President Kennedy and Mr. Khrushchev show some signs of demobilisation we are in an emergency.

I am not suggesting that the hon. Member speaks for the Government. I would not hold him responsible for their misdeeds.

We are entitled to know whether this is only a Measure to be used in case of emergency and, if so, to be given a definition of "emergency". I am certain that if the Clauses after Clause 1 are operated, people in this country and people abroad—not all of whom are likely to be friendly to us—will assume that there is some military contingency—to use that as being a rather less colourful word than "emergency" in this connection—which calls for an addition of men capable of going into the field forthwith. That is a position about which the Committee should be completely satisfied before we allow the Clause to go through.

My right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) said something about everyone being willing to give the right hon. Gentleman this power.

I am gradually finding out what it means—here is a job lot and we have taken one and two, so No. 3 ought to be thrown in for good luck. That is not the way in which a Measure which deals with the liberty of the subject, who may be liable to military service under it, ought to be approached. I have heard nothing which convinces me that the Minister has to come to the House of Commons before he can operate this power. I admit that it will be an administrative act and that he will, therefore, be able to be questioned and will have to give an account of what he has done. But that is not the way in which emergency powers have been obtained in the past and it is not the way in which they ought to be obtained in future.

I view the whole Bill, but particularly this Clause, with the utmost misgivings, because of the effect upon the liberty of the subject.

As I explained on Second Reading, the Clause provides for the creation of a new, trained reserve ready to supplement the Regular Army in times of tension. I should begin by explaining this, particularly in view of the speech of the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede). I am pleased that this proposal has been received in this way—I was going to say "welcomed"—on both sides of the Committee. The most eloquent testimony to that is the small number of Amendments put down with a view to its improvement.

The right hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) asked me a series of questions of which the most important was what the "Ever-readies" were for, what was to be done with them. To some extent that was also part of the speech of the right hon. Member for South Shields. This new section of the reserve is being designed to meet the challenge of the cold war. The right hon. Member for South Shields asked my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) whether the emergency now going on was the same as that when we drafted the Bill. That question itself shows the tension there is in the world and how difficult it is to decide when one tension ends and another sphere of tension arises. That is why I purposely used the words, "the challenge of the cold war".

Up to now, our Reserve Army has been expected to meet the call of "imminent national danger", with at least a prospect of armed conflict starting within a short time. Events last summer have made it quite clear that we now have to be prepared to face prolonged periods of what I might call, "armed vigilance". It will really only be in our enemies' interests if the meeting of these challenges repeatedly dis-organises our national life, or, alternatively, drives us into maintaining a burdensome force continuously under arms.

6.30 p.m.

The right hon. Member for South Shields, with his determination to guard the rights of the individual—quite properly—which we know so well in the House, poses a query. It is very difficult to satisfy the requirements that I have tried to outline to the Committee and, at the same time, to satisfy in toto what the right hon. Gentleman has in mind. If we are to be ready and able to meet times of tension, such as I have tried to outline, without disorganising our lives, anyone in my position must be able to act very quickly. The only way that my right hon. Friends and I could see of doing this was to start a new form of voluntary reserve, explaining quite clearly to the volunteers what their responsibilities would be.

The right hon. Gentleman says, "How will you know? You are asking for a blank cheque." I shall refer to the size of that cheque in a moment. But the curb on me is as strong as the right hon. Gentleman would wish, because every year the Secretary of State for War must present the Army Estimates and get the money voted to pay whatever bounties are required for the new service. The House still has a check, if only a financial one. What I have sought to do is to pay the proper tribute to the House by providing in the Bill that
"The Secretary of State shall from time to time report to Parliament with respect to the exercise of his powers to recall persons under section two or call out persons under section three."
The right hon. Gentleman says, "That is all very well, but you could do this afterwards". I accept that, but the two checks on the Government are, first, the financial check—we must have the necessary finance to keep this force going—and, secondly, the fact that Parliament can discuss, even if it is only immediately afterwards, whether we have done this correctly.

We must retain power to whisk men up without having to go through any paraphernalia if the scheme is to be of any value. We might well refer to this as an emergency period. I have referred to the "twilight" period. That is the reason for forming this reserve. It is formed against the background of the continuing challenge of the cold war and our desire to have the Regular Army backed up by what I might call a civilian army, upon which we can call.

The hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) will understand that the bounty which we pay these men is largely a retainer. It is a different form of bounty from that which is paid to the Territorial Army, because a different situation exists. I have not tried to dangle this bounty in front of the men; I regard it as a fair retainer—neither too much nor too little. I want the situation to be such that the signature of the Secretary of State for War to a document will enable him to call these men up for a period of not more than six months in any one year, and to do that we must pay them a retainer.

Having made the retainer fair enough for the greatest number of people to be interested in it, from then on we shall select, so as to obtain the best physically trained people, and so on.

I am coming to that. I am sorry if my speech is a little more higgledy-piggledy than the hon. and learned Member's, but I have put down my answers to these points in the order in which hon. Members have asked their questions.

Some hon. Members have expressed doubt whether the "Ever-readies" will be able to attain a satisfactory standard of efficiency in the long run. I recognise that this is not a system which will operate merely just now; it is a long-term concept. We may have a sufficient number of well-trained men now, but we may not have them in the future.

It is difficult to be categorical in explaining the new concept. In practice, there are always lessons to be learned, and I do not want to be too categorical in anything I say about the way in which the system will work. We shall start in what we believe to be the right way, but we must be flexible and able to make any changes which are necessary in future. I do not think that there will be any difficulties in the administrative services, because in facing their tasks those services will be reinforced by men from the T.A.E.R. whose civilian skills are just what is required for their jobs in the Army. That is the point made by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton. Their purely military training is comparatively simple, although they need some. It is mainly a question of their absorption into the Army. Their job in civilian life will be the same as that which they are required to do when they are called up.

It is the teeth arms which cause concern. In recent years our experience has been that the Territorial soldier is a keen and efficient volunteer, who reaches a high standard of training by the end of his cycle of service. It would be a mistake to think of these men in terms of pre-war standards of efficiency in the Territorial Army, because we have devoted so much more thought to the efficiency of that Army than was possible before the war.

The Committee may like to know that many members of the Territorial Army voluntarily perform, outside camp, more than three times their obligatory training liability of 30 drills. This is common practice. I put that on record now, because the Committee should know about it. I emphasise that we are not merely accepting for T.A.E.R. those Territorial Army soldiers who have done a certain amount of service—annual camp and other training. Those who are accepted must come up to certain definite standards of military and technical efficiency before they are eligible for selection by their commanding officers.

In training, the matter of equipment is extremely important. There may be an opportunity to discuss this question in more detail on another occasion, and all I want to say now is that I have had a very detailed study made of all the equipment required to produce the standard of efficiency at which we must aim, and the way in which it is to be brought into use.

I now turn to the point raised by my hon. Friend the Member for The Wrekin about training in the Territorial Army. It will be out of order to refer to this in detail, but I can say that we have been training them on the basis of what they are required to do in their reorganised rôle. Under that rôle none of the men is expected to have to emplane, or to take part in amphibious operations. The T.A.E.R. will join with the Territorial Army, and training will involve the use of the simpler of the modern weapons already on issue to the Territorial Army.

Some men, according to the sort of jobs we require them to do in the Regular Army, will be expected to do a different sort of training, or be more proficient than some Territorial Army men have been in the past, and for instruction in the more complex weapons I envisage that some of the "Ever-readies" may carry out some annual training with Regular units, and in technical schools.

When they are doing their ordinary annual training they will only have to do the same in-camp training as the ordinary soldiers, and in many cases they will be alongside part of a Territorial unit doing the same training, on the same equipment. There is no reason why a cook should not train with the modern cooking apparatus of the Territorial Army, but if a man is expected to fill a much more complicated post and there is an establishment for him in T.A.E.R. he may have to do his training at the same time as, and attached to, a Regular unit.

These men will not serve with the Territorials; they will serve with the Regulars. Why must the right hon. Gentleman confine this scheme to the people who will require to operate the particularly complicated weapons? Would it not be far better for them all to do their annual training with the Regulars, with whom they are going to serve?

I will now refer to the hon. and learned Member's speech. He asked why we should put them in the Territorial Army. When we were discussing the previous Amendment I tried for a long time to explain why we need them in the Territorial Army. Perhaps I may leave hon. Members to read what I have said on the matter.

There are various basic reasons. The first is whether the man is to be a technician or a soldier in the "teeth" arms—a "tooth-armed soldier", or whatever hon. Members may like to call him. He requires more than just training. He must learn to be part of a unit. At present, most of the men we are considering are members of the T.A., or they may even be serving in the Regular Army. This is a long-term concept and the time will come when there are no recruits to the T.A.E.R. coming from the Regular Army. Such people—they may be bakers by trade, or any other trade which hon. Members may like to think of—however proficient they are in their jobs, must learn to be part of a team, even though it may not be the unit with which they would go to war.

It is necessary to have training organisations with some equipment. It would be far too expensive and difficult to attach all the "Ever-readies" to Regular Army units. Were that done, some of them would have to travel abroad, and some might arrive at a time which was inconvenient for the Regular Army unit to receive them. So it is far better and more economical to have the majority of these people training within an organisation in this country, and for which Parliament authorises the expenditure of money to provide trained, Regular instructors. I do not see where else we could put these people and I do not believe that we could train them under the auspices of the Regular Army.

The hon. and learned Member for Northampton raised another point about not putting them in the Territorial Army and his point was taken up by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, North (Mr. Coulson), who made a most interesting speech. Both hon. Members wanted to know what would happen to the Territorial Army if these men were called up in an emergency and they suggested that the Territorial Army would be denuded. I do not think that the Committee need worry over much about that. I am making arrangements for the establishment of the Territorial Army to be increased by that number of men which any unit absorbs to be members of the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve. That is to say, these men will be superimposed above the normal establishment, so that if all the "Ever-readies" were taken away, the T.A. establishment would still be up to strength and could still carry on the secondary rôle which it would play on general mobilisation.

My hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw), who also made a most interesting speech, asked whether there was to be any sort of proportion of "Ever-readies" within a particular Territorial unit. I do not want to be definite, because in this matter we have to feel our way. But it is my idea that the figure should be about one-third. I think that we must pin this thing down and perhaps not more than one-third of any Territorial unit should be members of the T.A.E.R.

The right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) brought us back to our discussions of yesterday. I remember that on one occasion yesterday the right hon. Gentleman said he thought that I might be regretting writing my letter to him. The only thing I regret is that neither the right hon. Gentleman nor I brought a copy of the letter with us. I apologise for not doing so. My object in writing to the right hon. Gentleman was to give him the best and the fairest comparison—I hope that I can get this matter straight now—of the position of the retained National Service man and the National Service man who is not retained.

For this purpose I selected the rate of pay for a Grade II private. As the right hon. Gentleman said, this is a trained soldier who has already served eighteen months and qualified in skill at arms. In my view he would represent not the average, but a fairly normal man, between the extremes of the unskilled recruit and the skilled technician or warrant officer. A private Grade II as a National Service man now draws 11s. a day, assuming that he has completed eighteen months and is over 21.

6.45 p.m.

When such a man becomes a retained National Service man, if the provisions in this Bill become law, and we have to hold him for a further six months, he comes on Scale A and will draw 16s. a day. I am grateful for the opportunity to try to make this matter plainer to the right hon. Gentleman. The man in question will come straight on to Scale A. This will be exactly the same for somebody we have to recall under the provisions of Clause 2 or for the T.A.E.R. man called up and embodied.

That is what I have been talking about—the Regular rates of pay. It is Scale A. There is a differentiation between the 11s. of the ordinary National Service man and what he will get when retained which, in round figures, will start at 16s. He will be the same man, but having been retained, he will get the extra amount, and so I cannot agree to give a bounty.

Does this apply to the two categories of men with which I am concerned? There is the man who, having served for two years, leaves the Regular forces and has some settled occupation, and then he is called back for six months. The other category comprises those men now serving as National Service men who, before the expiry of their two-year period of National Service, are retained for another six months. In bath oases do the men receive 16s.?

Yes. That is what I was trying to indicate. In the first case, the man has come to the end of what has been his full-time National Service and I feel that I must retain him for another six months. In the same way anyone who has done his National Service but is recalled will get the same rate. So will the "Ever-ready" once he is called up. I am glad to be able to make this clear for the right hon. Gentleman.

May I now say a word about what was said by the right hon. Member for Bassetlaw, who also referred to checks and balances. I have to come to Parliament every year to get money, so that there is a complete check there. The right hon. Gentleman wanted to know how many people we were to have. Here again, I wish to be careful, because we are starting something new. But, to give the Committee an idea, may I say that I have in mind a ceiling of about 15,000, and I will tell the Committee why.

I judge the numbers of men we should need in these categories in the Regular Army to fulfil our present functions at about 15,000, so that 15,000 is the sort of number at which I shall be aiming. I have provided for a bit of latitude here, in that the ceiling which Parliament puts on these things is the ceiling put on pre-Proclamation reserves—the "Ever-readies", A.E.R.1 and Section A of the Regular Army Reserve altogether—and that ceiling will be 60,000. This is important, because if we found that the A.E.R.1 was not so necessary, I could increase the number of "Ever-readies" and still be within the 60,000 figure which Parliament would permit.

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. He has given the Committee some valuable information. Am I right in understanding that his 60,000 will not operate all together? If he proposes to have, as I think he said, 15,000 in relation to Clause 3, does that mean that he will want to call up fewer under the provisions of Clause 2, or has he a number fixed in relation to Clause 2 as well as the number he has told us?

If he will allow me to say so, I will call the right hon. Gentleman to order when he gets out of order.

I am trying not to stray out of order, Sir Herbert. It is a little difficult, for I am entitled only to talk about Clause 3, but I am explaining the ceiling of the "Ever-roadies" and pre-Proclamation reservists. The only connection with other Clauses is that, if this is successful, it would be less likely that we would have to call on the services of any one under Clause 2.

Is the 60,000 that the Secretary of State has mentioned the 60,000 mentioned in subsection (6) of the Clause we are discussing?

Yes, I think that it is subsection (6). That is the statutory limitation of all the pre-Proclamation reservists.

I am not entirely clear on this. We have at present an Army of peace time establishment. The Regular reserve is the force which brings the peace-time to the war-time establishment. There is something between the two. It is called up before the Regular reserve and gives something which is neither a peace-time nor a war-time establishment. What is the conception here? That is What we have not quite followed.

I am answering the right hon. Member for Bassetlaw about how many there will be in the T.A.E.R. I have said that my idea at present is that the ceiling would be 15,000, but that is not a statutory ceiling from the House. That is the ceiling of the number of pre-Proclamation reservists. I am giving what I think is the right sort of ceiling for these pre-Proclamation reservists—the A.E.R.1, Section A and this new reserve I am recalling. That, altogether, amounts to 60,000. The Committee would sanction there being 60,000 whom the Secretary of State at the time could call upon on his signature. Of that number, I reckon that the T.A.E.R. should be about 15,000.

I wish to answer two points made by my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston-upon-Hull, North. He asked about the formation of units for "Ever-readies". I gave careful consideration to this, but there is a major stumbling block. If we are to use these people as we require to, many of them may be technicians. There may be drivers, power operators, bakers, all sorts of people. If we formed units in any particular part of the country we might seriously affect the civilian organisation in that part of the country. Therefore, we have to separate out these technicians so that if we had to call them out we would not bring to a standstill the civilian organisation in any part of the country. That is a difficulty which limits the formation of T.A.E.R. units. If we could find some way of bringing the unit or sub-unit spirit into this we should certainly want to do so, in conjunction with the Territorial Army Council.

I think that it would be false, however, if I gave my hon. Friend any feeling of hope on the other point he made which was that commanding officers could get back their "Ever-readies" if the Territorial Army were ever embodied. I do not see that that would be possible. We call up these men and after all the emergency may not always be in the British Army of the Rhine. Suppose it were in the Middle East and was followed by an outbreak of limited war. I do not see how we could get those people back with all the complicated functions which would be involved. That is why they will be supernumerary to the Territorial Army units. I recognise the difficulties of forming this organisation, but in recognising them I am grateful to the Committee for the very fair way in which is has welcomed the idea behind this Clause.

My right hon. Friend did not go far enough on the question of training "Ever-readies". Will he give an undertaking that he will discuss further the training in T.A.E.R. so that while "Ever-readies" are in camp perhaps half a day could be devoted to trying to understand the problem of loading vehicles both on to aircraft and on to ships? I think that there is a case for some units of the Territorial Army to be trained in this way.

I suppose that I am entitled only to talk about training of the "Ever-readies". Training of the Territorial Army is constantly under review, among my colleagues and by my other Service colleagues. If it is found necessary in the interests of the Territorial Army to change the training, we shall have to take that into consideration. I have been talking only about the training of "Ever-readies" and I hope that I have satisfied the Committee at least to some extent.

Having listened to the right hon. Gentleman for the last quarter of an hour or twenty minutes, I cannot allow the occasion to pass without putting one or two questions to him. He told us that the purpose of the Bill is that it should be used as a challenge in the cold war. I should like the right hon. Gentleman to explain in what way the Bill can be a challenge in any war during the nuclear age.

On a point of order, Sit Herbert. I thought that the right hon. Gentleman was taking certain liberties with Clause 3, and he took those liberties without any objection from the Chair.

I think that if the hon. Member refers to the Rulings I have given so far, he will find that the right hon. Gentleman was in order, but the hon. Member is going very wide of Clause 3.

Further to that point of order, Sir Herbert. Is not what the right hon. Gentleman was saying that this was a cold war reserve in the sense that in cold war circumstances we have to raise levels of military readiness without proceeding to the length of Proclamation? I think that that is what my hon. Friend is seeking to deal with.

At the moment when I stopped the hon. Member he was out of order.

I know that you, Sir Herbert, would want to give a remote back bencher the same measure of fair play as you would give to the right hon. Gentleman. I quoted, I think exactly, the expression used by him and I must now remind you that you did not, may I say, "bat an eyelid" or make any suggestion that the right hon. Gentleman was out of order. There may be another opportunity for others with myself to consider the philosophy which has inspired the right hon. Gentleman and the Government in trying to put this wretched concoction on to the Statute Book.

I know that my hon. Friend the Member for Merthyr Tydvil (Mr. S. O. Davies) has very strong views on this matter. I recognise that, much as one regrets it, there is a cold war, and that there are circumstances that make different levels of preparedness necessary. As such, I wish the Government well with this proposal and I certainly shall not advise my hon. Friends to divide against it.

None the less, I do not think this will work with the Territorial Army. I do not think that it fits in with the nature of the Territorial Army to take men who are not of it but are attached and to superimpose them on it. The Territorial Army has no real interest in these men and rather resents them.

7.0 p.m.

I believe that it will be necessary, both for the sake of the Territorial Army and of these reservists, to find a different way of training men, and that that way of training them will be largely by attachment to Regular units. Of course, when we pass out of the stage at which we have got trained men, then, certainly a year in the Territorial Army to teach them to be disciplined men will be necessary, but I believe that at the point when they become a part of this reserve, it will, in practice, be found necessary and desirable that they shall cease to be in the Territorial Army. However, we will see how it works out. At any rate, this Clause has my very good wishes.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 4—(Provisions Supplemental To Ss 2 And 3)

I beg to move, in page 3. line 44, at the end to insert:

Provided always that in any proceedings that may be instituted against such person for failure to comply with such notice it shall be a defence if he prove both that he did not receive the notice and that he did not know that any notice had been sent out addressed to him.
We come now to the provisions dealing with the method, with which this Amendment is concerned, by which persons shall be summoned for service under Clauses 2 or 3 of this Bill. In regard to Clause 3, one would not anticipate very much difficulty. In the case of the men to whom I intend to refer, who are the men covered in Clause 2, we see from the Bill that notices requiring a man under Clause 2 or Clause 3 to carry out the services which it is necessary for him to do, and which it has been decided he shall do under this Bill, shall
"be deemed to have been duly served on the person to whom it is directed if—
  • (a) it is delivered to him personally; or
  • (b) it is sent by registered post or the recorded delivery service addressed to him at his latest address known to the military authorities."
  • Regarding the men called up under Clause 3, I would not anticipate a great deal of difficulty, for in that case they are men who, within a period of twelve months, would have signed an agreement with the Secretary of State and will be receiving the bounty. They will have agreed that, if required, they are prepared to do six months in that period of twelve months and will be in regular attendance at the local Territorial Army centre. There should be in this case completely up to date records concerning the home address and where these men can be contacted.

    When we come to the provisions for recall under Clause 2, I think we are in a very different position. We are dealing in Clause 2 with men who have completed their National Service, and for whom there is very little provision—there is some, but very little—for ensuring that an up to date record clearly showing their place of residence has been kept by the War Office.

    I wish to refer to the speech made by my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) yesterday on an earlier Amendment, when he maintained that at the present time there were about 800,000 ex-National Service men who, in certain circumstances, could be recalled for further service. My hon. Friend referred to his belief that if notices were sent out to those men today it would be found that at least 75 per cent. of them had moved and, for some reason or other, were no longer resident at the address shown in their record of service. My own view is that 75 per cent. is perhaps a little bit high, but I have no doubt that a very large proportion, probably 30 per cent. or 40 per cent., or even a greater percentage, will have changed their addresses and moved from one town to another, or simply moved from one house to another in the same town, and are no longer resident at the address shown on the records when they completed their National Service.

    I should imagine that at some stage in the last few years various exercises must have been carried out in the War Office to see what the present records are like. At least, I hope that this has been done, so that if the War Office had to send out notices to 800,000 men they would know what proportion was likely to receive them within a few days, assuming an ordinary situation with postal deliveries of 24 to 36 hours. It is absolutely certain that a very large number, once they have finished their National Service, within a period of twelve months and definitely within the period when they are liable for recall within the terms of the Bill, may for some reason or other have changed their addresses, and it is also pretty certain that quite a large number of these changes of address would not be notified to the War Office.

    Therefore, we place a man affected under Clause 2 in a position in which a notice may be sent to him, but he may have moved house two or three times. The notice may eventually catch up with him, but in many instances we may assume a distinct possibility that a notice sent either by registered post or recorded delivery service will not reach him. It will then be argued that the notice should go back again to the sender and that the War Office would thus get it back, and, therefore there would be no question of assuming simply because their was no response, that he had received the notice.

    In the cases of the receipt for a letter by registered mail or recorded delivery, it is not necessary to be signed by the person to whom it is addressed. It may be signed by somebody who opens the door at that address, who sees the postman offering a letter, is offered a slip of paper and a pencil, and, without even looking at the letter, puts a signature upon the paper, and the postman goes away happy. There is thus no guarantee that a letter either by registered post or recorded delivery service and addressed to the last known address will reach the man concerned, because he may no longer live at that address.

    We try, in this Amendment, to make it a defence in any proceedings against any such person for failing to comply with the notice that he did not receive it and did not know that it had been sent to him. It would depend on how many men are being called up whether the individual man would suspect whether a notice had been sent to him or not. If comparatively few men of those liable for recall were being called up under Clause 2, one could fairly easily argue that he could not reasonably expect that he would be called up, because of the small number affected. If, on the other hand, a large proportion was called up, that would be more difficult, but he should be able to claim that he did not receive the notice because he no longer resided at the property to which it was sent or that he had moved away some time earlier.

    There are a large number of people moving from the North of England and from Scotland, and quite a large number of people who are moving from Scotland to crowd up the residential accommodation in London, and in those circumstances it would be exceedingly difficult for him to be traced. The only way to ensure that a man is not unjustly penalised for not receiving a notice of this nature is by giving him the defence of proving that he did not receive the notice or that he did not reasonably know the notice had been sent out addressed to him. I hope we can take it that the Secretary of State will accept the Amendment or make some other provision to make sure that no one will suffer in the way I have suggested that they might suffer if this Amendment is not carried.

    I appeal to the Minister to accept the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman, with his great experience of legal matters, knows that it is possible for a slip to occur and for a man not to receive a document sent to him by registered post or by other means.

    Some time ago, on the Army Act, we had great difficulty in trying to rebut a case where it had been proved that a document had been posted. The onus of proof that it had not been received was upon the person to whom it had been addressed. This has been changed since then.

    I remember a very strange case in which it was alleged that a document had been posted. The case, in which I appeared, was heard in Bradford. I pointed out to the court that even proof of posting was not sufficient. I do not want to go into details, but the prosecution was trying to prove that there had been posting merely by the fact that the letter had been placed near the postbag. That was as far as the proof went. Nevertheless, the court-martial came to the conclusion that the case had been proved. The following morning the court appeared to have changed its mind. There was nobody there from the official office, and the court imposed a sentence of one day's imprisonment, which meant that the accused was immediately released. Therefore, it did not pay us in any sense to appeal.

    I submit that there is this possibility. The right hon. and learned Gentleman will agree that legal practitioners have experience—these cases arise perhaps rarely, but they are not entirely unknown—of cases where, strange though the facts may appear, something has gone astray and has not been served.

    It would be grossly unfair to a man if he were not even placed in a position in which he could defend such a case. If a man were able to prove to the reasonable satisfaction of a tribunal that he had not received the notice, and had no knowledge of it, I cannot believe that the Solicitor-General would want the man to be penalised. Perhaps I have misread the Bill. There may be a provision in which this contingency is provided for. If it is not provided for, it would be grossly unjust if, although an accused persons proved that he was not aware of the notice having been sent and had not received it, he was in any way penalised.

    I cannot believe that the Solicitor-General would want that to happen. No one in the country would want it to happen. I hope that, if what we believe to be the case is the case, the right hon. and learned Gentleman will accept the Amendment.

    7.15 p.m.

    I am sure that the Solicitor-General would not wish to exclude any defence a person might have if it were a good defence. The Amendment puts the onus upon the person to whom the notice has been sent. It provides that he has to prove that he did not receive the notice. The Clause provides that the

    "notice shall be deemed to have been duly served on the person to whom it is directed if …
    (b) it is sent by registered post "
    It may sound an adequate safeguard if the notice is sent by registered post, but recently a case has come to my notice in which a registered letter was addressed to a woman. It was delivered to the house. It was signed for—all registered packets have to be signed for—by another resident in the house, who placed it upon the common stairway. Since that time nobody has seen it. The woman to whom the packet was addressed definitely did not receive it. I know her and have discussed the matter with her. She is a genuine, honest person.

    According to the letter of this Clause, she would be deemed to have received the packet. In fact, she did not receive it and had no knowledge that it had been delivered to her house. I mention this case to help the Solicitor-General realise that the fact that a notice is sent by registered post is not an infallible safeguard for the person concerned.

    :(Sir Jocelyn Simon) I think that it might be convenient if I reply now to the points which have been raised in the three speeches, the sentiments of which I am sure the whole Committee approves.

    The hon. Members for Islington, North (Mr. Reynolds), Leicester, North-West (Sir B. Janner), and Islington, South-West (Mr. A. Evans) were right in saying that no one can be sure that a letter addressed to the last known address of a person will not necessarily miscarry. There is a statutory obligation on the persons who would fall within Clause 2 as liable to recall to report their changes of address.

    The hon. Member for Islington, North is no doubt correct in saying—it is only realistic to face the fact—that there may be some men who have not complied with this obligation. There may be some where the records have gone astray. There may be some who will be deemed to be served under subsection (1) who will not, in fact, have received the notices sent to them.

    All three hon. Members contended—their contention would immediately find a response in any hon. Member—that no one should be put in peril of imprisonment or any other punishment if he is not in any way at fault. No one would dissent from that, but I hope to satisfy the Committee that there is no danger of that under the Clause as it is drawn at present.

    It is not only that the Amendment is unnecessary, in that the law as it now stands already protects a man who, through no fault of his own, fails to receive a calling-up notice. The provisions of that law apply equally to men served with notices under the Bill. The Amendment goes a long way beyond protecting the type of person the three hon. Gentlemen had in mind—in other words, the man who fails to receive a notice through no fault of his own. It would, for example, extend to protect a man who fails to receive a notice as a result of his own neglect or default. It goes even further than that. It would protect a man who deliberately evaded service.

    I will expand slightly on this point if I may trespass on the patience of the Committee. As so often happens when one tries to write in an unnecessary provision into a Statute, it is liable to have unfortunate repercussions on other statutory provisions and attract peril to the sort of man who, at the moment, would be quite safe under such provisions.

    It might, in other words, have repercussions on a man who does not receive a notice sent by virtue of some other provision, such as Section 9 of the National Service Act, 1948, the training notice or the original calling-up notice which applies in the case of the National Service man. He could not be heard to say that his failure to receive it was due to no fault of his own.

    The Amendment is unnecessary to protect such cases, for the failure of a Service man to report for duty in response to a notice sent under either Clause 2 or 3 is not itself an offence against the ordinary law of the land. That is, a person who fails to comply does not commit any criminal offence and that is so where his failure to report is a deliberate defiance of a notice to serve or is the result of his failure to receive the notice. He commits no criminal offence whether this failure was due to his own neglect or through no default on his part.

    The sanction against failure to respond to a notice is by the attraction of the Army Act, particularly Sections 37 and 38, which lay down the offences of desertion and absence without leave. They are attracted by virtue of subsection (2) of Clause 4 whereby any person who is recalled or called-up by such a notice—

    I am sorry. I probably have an old copy of the Bill. In any case, the effect is the same.

    Perhaps I may make my point without tying myself down.

    The point is that any person who is recalled under Clause 2 or called out under Clause 3 shall, as soon as the notice has been effectively served on him, be deemed, for the purposes of the Army Act, to be an officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer or soldier, as the case may be, of the Regular forces and be subject to military law accordingly.

    The effect of that is that he is then liable to proceedings before the Service courts—and those are the only proceedings to which he is liable. That is, he can be tried either before a court-martial or appear on summary trial before his commanding officer. The result is that if someone does not report in response to a notice under Clauses 2 or 3 he is in exactly the same position as any other regular, ordinarily enlisted officer or man who is absent without leave. He faces the possibility of proceedings before a Service court.

    May I take those two offences in turn? The more serious is that under Section 37, which is desertion. No one can be guilty of desertion unless he intends, permanently, to forsake the force to which he is attached; and, obviously, if it is proved that he failed to report with the intention of remaining permanently absent from duty, he is guilty. But if he shows that he did not receive the notice then obviously no such inference can be drawn. If he can do that then it was obviously no fault of his own.

    The same is really true regarding absence without leave. It does not require the mental element of intention permanently to absent oneself from one's unit, but it nevertheless requires culpability before it can be proved. Hon. Members who wish to check that can look at the notes to Section 38 of the Army Act, in the Manual of Military Law, where the Section note 2 (a) states:
    "Absence without leave must be voluntary."
    Note 2 (b) states:
    "The absence is voluntary if it is due to the deliberate intention of the accused to be absent, or if it is caused by means which were within his own control…"
    Note 2 (d) gives an example:
    "… if a soldier meets with an accident or contracts an illness which renders him unable to travel and so prevents his return to duty, he is not guilty of absence without leave although the accident was due to his own negligence or it was his own fault that he contracted the illness; his absence is regarded as involuntary because a new cause, outside his own wrong-doing, has intervened to prevent his return."
    Note 2 (h) states that absence without leave must be culpable.

    I am, therefore, prepared to advise the Committee without any doubt that no one would be found guilty of being absent without leave if he failed to receive a recall or calling-up notice through no fault of his own, but because the notice had miscarried in the way described by hon. Gentlemen opposite.

    I am somewhat confused about the procedure here. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is dealing now, as I understand it, with the Amendment, but he must, shortly, on behalf of the Secretary of State for War, move a following Amendment. That Amendment changes the texture of the provision with which he is now dealing. Is it not possible for the right hon. and learned Gentleman to deal not only with the Amendment now before the Committee, but also with the Secretary of State's Amendment? After all, the latter Amendment will govern a further Amendment in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg).

    The two Amendments to which I referred deal with the same subject and the right hon. and learned Gentleman is now overtaking the Amendment he will shortly be moving and also the one in the name of the hon. Member for Dudley.

    I am sure that I should not be permitted to speak on the Amendment, since it has not yet been called, nor would it be convenient for me to do so. But I shall remain here while it is debated and if I can be of assistance to the Committee I shall be happy to do my best. In any case, it makes no material difference to the intention about which I have spoken.

    I advise the Committee that a Service man who fails to report for duty in accordance with the requirements of a notice served on him by virtue of the Bill could not properly be convicted of either absence without leave or desertion if he can prove his failure to receive it was through no fault of his own.

    He would not be liable to any other legal proceedings of any kind in respect of his failure to report and, therefore, the Amendment is not necessary.

    7.30 p.m.

    The right hon. and learned Gentleman used the words "Could not properly be deemed". Is it not necessary to avoid the possibility of a conviction, not made improperly and because the court believed it to be wrong, but similar to the one to which I referred? It is agreed there is this possibility. I gave an actual example of a court-martial deciding quite improperly—not using that term in a critical sense—that the person was guilty in the circumstances I mentioned. Does not the Solicitor-General think it necessary to have some way of avoiding that possibility?

    One can proceed only on the basis of the law as we understand it to be. If a man proves that his failure to report was not due to any fault of his own, he should be—

    Well, as far as human frailty permits, our law is administered in such a way that he will be acquitted and, if he is wrongly convicted, there is machinery for putting the matter right. That is the machinery that should be used, not an Amendment like this which, as I have said—and with respect, I have not yet finished my argument—is unnecessary, and which, as I shall seek to show, would be positively harmful. However, before I do that, I see that the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) wants to ask a question.

    I want to know where the trial is to be held. My experience as a magistrate has been that the police pick the man up and bring him in front of the local petty sessional court where he is charged with being absent without leave. Waiting in the precincts of the court is a junior officer, a corporal and a couple of privates, and the man is generally handed over to the military escort. He is brought before the officer commanding his unit and, if he is unwise, he will ask for a court martial. I recollect once having to parade a man who was asked, "Will you take my punishment or go to a court martial?" The man, thinking to flatter the officer commanding, said, "I'll have justice, Sir." The officer replied, "Court martial for you."

    If this point can be raised at the magistrates' court in the district where the police have caught up with the man, such witnesses as he requires are probably in the near vicinity of the court, but if he is taken to the unit and they go through the military process it may be a matter of some expense and, certainly, of great inconvenience to any witnesses he wishes to call.

    The answer to the right hon. Gentleman's question is that the only court that has power to try a man who has failed to comply with a notice under Clause 2 or Clause 3 is a military court. As the right hon. Gentleman said, the man is triable either summarily or by court martial.

    I was about to go to my second point, which is that the Amendment goes far beyond the cases put by hon. Members opposite. It is quite true that the man who fails to report, when it is his own fault that he has not received the notice, will be guilty, at least, of absence without leave. He may be found guilty of desertion if the right inference to draw is that his conduct shows quite clearly that he intended permanently to absent himself.

    There is, for example, the man who goes away without leaving a forwarding address; or the man who arranges that his post will be dealt with in such a way that it is not forwarded to him. He may give instructions that any registered letter, any recorded delivery service letter—indeed, any letter at all—is not accepted on his behalf, and then leaves that address. Such a man would be guilty of absence without leave, and I am sure that the Committee would agree that he would be rightly convicted, because what he was doing was, in effect—indeed, in fact—dodging service.

    The Amendment would give him a conclusive defence—whereas a man who was already enlisted and went away with the intention of permanently, or even temporarily, absenting himself, would have no defence—because he could show both that he did not receive the notice and that he did not know that any notice addressed to him had been sent out. In such circumstances he would escape. I am sure that the Committee would agree that that would be quite wrong, and I know that that was not the intention of the hon. Member who moved the Amendment and those who supported it—

    I am a little perturbed about the person who decides to leave a district, either because he has committed a slight crime and has suffered the penalty, or for marital or other reasons, and goes to live in a fresh district where no one knows him. What would be his position if he had not reported his change of address? Obviously, he would not want to do that because he wished to live quietly where people would not get to know about his past. If he were eventually caught up, would the fact that he had acted in that way in order to try to hide his identity for those reasons be taken into consideration?

    I have to take that in two stages. First of all, was he guilty of an offence? Secondly, if the offence were proved, would the circumstances be taken into account? If he went without leaving an address—which, I take it, is postulated—and, in addition, did not fulfil his statutory obligation on arriving at his new address of notifying either the Territorial Army com manding officer, in the case of Clause 3, or the War Office, in the case of Clause 2, he would probably, if his conduct was considered to be culpable, be committing an offence, but the reason for his failure to notify his address and for his absence would necessarily be taken into account.

    There, are, of course, infinite degrees of culpability in these cases. A not infrequent case in what might be called ordinary absence without leave is the man who gets drunk, gets carried past his station and, as a result, fails to get back to barracks in time. I know that I speak in the presence of my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, but I think that that is generally considered a fairly light offence, compared with the case of the man who deliberately absents himself because he wants to engage in a career of crime, although it is not proved that he intended permanently to forsake his unit.

    The point I am trying to put to the Committee is that it would be wrong to allow a man who is intentionally dodging service in respect of this notice to be able to prove as a conclusive defence that he did not receive notice and did not know that any notice had been addressed to him.

    Finally, I come to the third point that I ventured to put to the Committee, and that was the danger of writing in an unnecessary provision like this and the danger of its repercussions on other provisions on the Statute Book. I mentioned Section 9 of the National Service Act, 1948, and I imagine that the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) and a great many other hon. Members present will remember that it provides for the service of a training notice or the service of an enlistment notice. That Section is spent in its prospective effect in that no one is to be called up by virtue of its provision; but, there is the possibility of legal proceedings in respect of it. Indeed, I was personally engaged only at the beginning of this week in such legal proceedings—cases of men who are still being arrested as absentees because they failed to report for duty when called up for National Service. If anyone is charged in that way, it is open to him to say, "I was not absent without leave", or "I was not a deserter, because I never received the notice. I did not have the requisite culpability of mind." There is a danger if we write in this unnecessary Amendment to this Clause. The hon. and learned Gentleman will remember from his forensic past that a frequent line of construction is that because Parliament expressly wrote in a provision, such as is in this Amendment, to the later Act, therefore they cannot have intended that it should be an offence against, or at any rate that it throws some light on the intention of Parliament in respect of, the earlier Act. It is a rule of construction on which the counts occasionally rely.

    Surely, if the right hon. and learned Gentleman will permit, it is a very definite rule of construction that an earlier Act may never be construed in the light of a subsequent Act. We can construe a subsequent Act in the light of an earlier Act, but never vice versa.

    With very great respect, the hon. and learned Gentleman puts that much too categorically. As I say, the courts lean against it, but it is a possible line of construction, and there is in my opinion, some danger in writing in this provision. It is unnecessary anyhow; it might, I do not put it any higher than that, involve danger to people charged with absence without leave in respect of failure to comply with a notice under Section 9.

    Surely the right hon. and learned Gentleman has exaggerated his case, because one of the major canons of construction of a penal statute is that it should be construed restrictively.

    That is true, but it is arguable whether the National Service Act is in that sense a penal Statute. I know that it will be argued that it should be construed together with the Army Act, and I see the force of it, but I do not want to get into a legal argument about canons of construction. I do not need to put this very high. It is sufficient for me to say that the Amendment is unnecessary for the purpose that hon. Members opposite had in mind, but there is some danger—one may not necessarily put it very high—that it might redound to the disadvantage of the man charged who has failed to comply with a notice which has been served under an earlier Act.

    I hope that I have satisfied the Committee that, first, the Amendment is unnecessary, and secondly, that it goes far beyond its ostensible object. In so far as it does that, it is undesirable, and there is some little danger that it may cause disadvantage to men who would otherwise have a defence under a different Act.

    7.45 p.m.

    We have had the usual suave and pleasant rejoinder from the right hon. and learned Gentleman, and I want to thank him for the trouble he has taken. He has not, however, dealt with the point that I raised, the difficulty of the man where his trial takes place before a military court of getting his witnesses. After all, he is placed in a very difficult position from the start. He has to prove a negative, and I understand that that is regarded even by the members of the legal fraternity of such high eminence as my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget) and the right hon. and learned Gentleman as a very difficult thing to do.

    The man has to prove that he has not received the notice. If the prosecution can produce the signed document showing that the registered letter was in fact received and it is not signed by him, there may then be the question, as one of my hon. Friends has said, that the letter was placed on the stairs and nobody had seen it since, or that nobody who could be traced has seen it since. I think that is the proper construction with regard to that.

    I admit that when we are dealing with this kind of case we always get the answer which the right hon. and learned Gentleman gave in his third reply, that somewhere on the Statute Book there is a provision not dissimilar from this, differently worded, and that if we put these words in we may damage people protected by the words that were formerly used. For what it is worth, we have to pay attention to that. I would suggest to the right hon. and learned Gentleman that there is a serious point here. We are not dealing with the type of person who inserts a notice in The Times,"Sir Charles and Lady So-and-So have left for the continent; no correspondence will be forwarded." We are not dealing with persons in that station of life who use that particular way of getting away from all the troubles which the flesh is heir to.

    I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman is really right when he says that by going to the South of France one gets rid of all the troubles the flesh is heir to.

    Hope rises eternal. At any rate, they manage to get away from letter writers. I think that this is a point worth considering seeing that a man has to prove a negative for a start. He may be in grave jeopardy of getting into serious trouble with his regiment. He may make a bad start by having an addition to his conduct sheet which may already have several entries on it to which he may desire not to have too much attention drawn when he rejoins his unit. I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman to consider again whether something can be done to protect men in the quite genuine cases to which my hon. Friends have referred.

    Before I heard the Solicitor-General, I was in some doubt about this Amendment. Having heard him, I am convinced that there is a great deal in it. In his last few words, the right hon. and learned Gentleman exaggerated his case, and I feel I must pursue the point with regard to the construction of a Statute in relation to Statutes as a whole.

    The Solicitor-General agreed that penal Statutes must be construed strictly. That is a very important canon of construction which our criminal courts should observe. Where the liberty of the subject is involved, there should be no attempt to stretch the net further than there is absolute authority for in the Statute. It is really preposterous to suggest that, if the Amendment is inserted here, it would react to the detriment of people affected under previous Acts. If that were so, it would make Parliament wary of putting any limitations in any future Act, because it might be said that previous Acts could be construed in a different light having regard to the later innovations. Whether this Measure is a penal one or not, I submit that it should be construed with the Army Act, and, of course, where it is sought to impose a penalty on a man absent without leave, as it undoubtedly would be, the Bill would be penal in that context. Having regard to the speeches I have heard, I insist as strongly as I can that this reservation and defence should be inserted in the Clause.

    As I understand it, the Solicitor-General told the Committee that men who left without giving an address would have no defence. My hon. Friend the Member for Dearne Valley (Mr. Wainwright) asked him about people who left their district for various reasons, because they had committed some minor offence, for matrimonial reasons, or whatever it might be. People have hundreds of reasons for leaving their districts and not giving addresses. Sometimes it is done with deliberate intent and sometimes it is not.

    I confess to the Committee that, when I was on the Territorial Army Reserve, I had occasion to change my address and I do not think that I informed the War Office, as I probably should have done. There must be thousands of men who have reserve obligations and who do not inform the War Office in such circumstances but who have no deliberate intention of avoiding their responsibilities. Either through neglect or for some other cause they do not take the step of informing the War Office or persons in authority of where they are. It would be interesting to know from the War Office whether it could say where everyone who has reserve obligations is at present. I am quite sure that, if an attempt were made to count heads and find out where people with reserve obligations are in this country, a very large number would not be found.

    I submit that the Solicitor-General should think seriously again about whether this Amendment would be advantageous to men who might be called up.

    One of the points made by the Solicitor-General was that the Amendment went too far in that it would afford a defence to persons who would not otherwise have one. He instanced the case of men who had gone away without leaving a forwarding address and so had deliberately avoided, as it were, the service of the notice upon them.

    I suggest to him that that is not quite so. He will remember that in the Road Traffic Act there is a provision that in respect of certain motoring offences prosecutions cannot be brought unless notice of them has been served within a certain statutory number of days from the commission of the offence. He will remember a very recent case in which the divisional count decided that, if a registered letter was delivered at the man's last known place of residence and was accepted and signed for by someone at that address, that person would be deemed to be the man's agent for the receipt of the notice so that, even though he had arranged not to be there so that physically he had not received the notice, this would not avail him because acceptance of the registered letter would be accepted by the court as proof that notification had been, in fact, served even though the man had never seen it at all. I think that that disposes of that point which the right hon. and learned Gentleman made.

    It does not seem to me that there is very much even in his other contention that what we suggest might endanger somebody proceeded against under the 1948 Act.

    It is with considerable regret that I must tell the Committee that I cannot accept the learned Solicitor-General's advice on any of the points he put.

    I take, first, the effect which acceptance of the Amendment might have upon the construction of the 1948 Act. I say emphatically—I am sure that I can produce authority for it—that it has been laid down time and again as a canon of construction that Statutes may be construed in the light of that which came before but never in the light of that which came after them.

    There is a very good reason for this. As soon as we pass a Bill and put it on the Statute Book it passes out of our jurisdiction. It no longer matters what we think it means. What matters is what the court thinks it means. I recall a classical instance in which the late Lord Hewart, speaking from the place where the Solicitor-General is now sitting, told the House that a Clause could not possibly be understood save in the meaning which he gave to it.

    The House accepted that. Later, when he was Lord Chief Justice, the same Clause, then a Section in an Act, came before him and with equal emphasis he construed it in precisely the opposite way. What he had said in the House could not be referred to. I think, therefore, that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will, on second thoughts, agree that the construction of the 1948 Act is not endangered.

    I agree with the Solicitor-General that failure to comply with the notice is not a criminal offence. The criminal offence is the offence under the Army Act of being absent without leave. I will not deal with desertion. I do not think that he has considered the words here, which are a great deal stronger against the man than the words in the Road Traffic Act. The words in this Bill are:
    "any such notice shall be deemed to have been duly served upon the person to whom it was directed".
    Those words create an estoppel. When Parliament says that something shall be deemed to be so, no evidence is admissible in any court of law to show to the contrary. If Parliament says that a white horse shall be deemed to be black, the evidence of anyone who says in court, "I looked at the horse. It is white" will be ruled inadmissible since he is not allowed to say that it is any colour other than that which Parliament has decreed it shall be deemed. The effect simply is that for the purposes of the law and for the purposes of the rules of evidence any proceeding brought is brought on the assumption that the man has been duly served.

    8.0 p.m.

    Suppose that a man before a court-martial is prosecuted for being absent without leave, and that he wishes to say that he was not served. He is not allowed to say that, because the law says that he was duly served. Since he cannot say, "I was not served" and cannot challenge the service, then, on the assumption that he was served, he has no defence to being absent without leave. He has not had the leave, he is absent and he is not allowed to say that he has not had the summons because the law says that he is deemed to have been duly served.

    This seems to me to raise a very real danger. What we are creating is not an offence, but a rule of evidence, and that rule of evidence is the assumption of due service. But even if I am wrong—I do not think that I am—and it is necessary to show, apart from the service which is deemed, an element of culpability in the absence without leave, that element of culpability can almost certainly be shared among, I should think, about 80 per cent. of the men affected by Clause 2.

    The idea is that these men should remain in a supplementary reserve and that track should be kept of them. Does the Under-Secretary of State really think that he knows where are even 20 per cent:. of the Clause 2 men? Are they really culpable because they take a holiday abroad, because they change their address, because they move from their district, or because they do not inform the War Office that they propose to go to Ireland? We know that all these men are doing this.

    This obligation on men to keep the authorities informed of their where-abouts is a dead letter. It was conceived at one time that that should be the structure of the Army. It was not the structure of the Army. In effect, even on the right hon. and learned Gentleman's assumption that, over and above this artificial deeming that notice has been served it is necessary to show culpability, that culpability does exist in the vast majority of cases, because there is the obligation there, although it is an obligation which, in effect, has lapsed, which no one has attempted to enforce and which has simply been dropped. Unless there is this form of protection, we create a real danger of finding people who are innocent guilty of offences under military law.

    I therefore think that we must press this Amendment to a Division unless the Solicitor-General says that he will have second thoughts about it or that he will accept it. He may well do that now that he has been reassured that he will not endanger all the other people under the 1948 Act.

    A number of new points have been raised in the debate and it would be discourteous if I did not endeavour to try to deal with them.

    The most serious point was raised by the hon. and learned Member for Northampton (Mr. Paget). If he were right, it would strike at all the protection given to any person charged with absence without leave. My firm conviction is that he is not right. What the word "deemed" means here is that in the eyes of the law a man has been duly served and that the notice has been made sufficiently proximate to him to attract the provisions of subsection (2) and to make him subject to military law. If he is charged with absence without leave, it will not prevent his saying, not that he was not served—because it is true, as the hon. and learned Member said, that there is a statutory presumption, a statutory fiction—but that he did not get the letter. That is different, and obviously "duly served" includes both personal service which reaches him and, under subsection (I, b), sending notice by registered post addressed to his last known address which, because it is in contrast to paragraph (a) may not reach him.

    In view of what has been said, I will certainly reconsider the matter with my advisers. But I have no doubt that, as at present advised, it would be open to a man charged with absence without leave to say, "I never received the letter. That was no fault of mine and, therefore, I am not guilty of the requisite culpability of mind to make me guilty of absence without leave".

    I am reinforced in that view, since I find the same formula in the National Service Act, 1948. It was first introduced in the 1947 Act. In the consolidating 1948 Act, it appears as the proviso to Section 33, and states:
    "Provided that, notwithstanding anything in section twenty-six of the Interpretation Act, 1889, where an enlistment notice or a training notice has been served on any person by post, service on him shall not be deemed to have been duly effected unless it is proved either that he received the notice or that it was sent by registered post addressed to him at his last known address."
    Hundreds of charges of absence without leave must have been brought under Section 33, which should be read with Section 9.

    I read to the Committee the terms of the Manual of Military Law which make it plain that the defence of non-default of any sort on the part of an accused man is always thought to be available.

    As the right hon. and learned Gentleman has pointed out, it is the due service which is deemed that puts a man into the Army and makes his present obligatory. It is not the receipt of the letter. Therefore, when due service has happened, if he is absent, he is absent without leave.

    One can be absent from one's unit without leave without being guilty of the offence of "absence without leave" under Section 38 of the Army Act. If the hon. and learned Member looks at Section 145 (1, a) of the Army Act, I think that he will see that that is true beyond doubt.

    The hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Morris) doubted my advice to the Committee that there might be danger of the Amendment having unfortunate repercussions on other provisions on the Statute Book. I may sound confident when I give advice to the Committee—indeed, it is my duty to do so—but I am always willing to learn, particularly from practising lawyers like hon. Members opposite.

    The provision which I had in mind appears on page 35 of the latest edition of Maxwell, which one of my hon. Friends has been kind enough to get. The section states:
    "Earlier Act explained by later. Not only may the later Act be construed by the light of the earlier, but it sometimes furnishes a legislative interpretation of the earlier if it is in pari materia and the provisions of the earlier Act are ambiguous."

    Surely it is always in the power of Parliament to pass an Act interpreting the previous one.

    That is not what the passage is directed to. I hope that I did not put it very high, but there is a danger—and it would be quite wrong when one has a completely unnecessary Amendment to disregard the fact—not only that the Amendment is unnecessary, but that it may have adverse repercussions.

    While one realises the authority of the interpretation that the Solicitor-General is putting forward. surely the courts would be loath to put such an interpretation on a penal statute.

    I do not dissent from that as a general proposition. In the end, however—penal statute, fiscal statute or whatever it is—the courts must try to interpret it to give effect to the intention of Parliament.

    I come, finally, to the serious attack made by the hon. Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman), who took on my main point that it is not true that this provision is unnecessary. He drew attention, quite rightly, to a recent decision of the divisional court concerning the Road Traffic Act and notice of intended prosecution having to be served either personally or by registered post within a certain period. It was held that the fact that the registered letter was taken in by someone in the household who was authorised to receive correspondence was sufficient compliance.

    I have that case in mind, but I do not consider it relevant to this debate, for two reasons. One of them, if my recollection serves me that the divisional count came to that conclusion, was that the court said that there is an alternative method of service on the owner of the vehicle; and that indicated that personal service, bringing the matter to the man's knowledge, is not strictly necessary.

    The more serious reason, however, why I cannot accept that argument is that I have no doubt that the provisions of the Amendment would override any possibility of following that case in relation to the sort of proceedings which we have in mind under the Bill. The Amendment states:
    "in any proceedings that may be instituted against such person for failure to comply with such notice it shall be a defence if he prove both that he did not receive the notice and that he did not know that any notice had been sent out addressed to him."
    That would clearly cover the case of a man who did not receive the notice because it had been taken in even by somebody whom he had authorised to receive it.

    I come back to the point at which I left the Committee the first time I spoke on the Amendment. This is an unnecessary provision. It would enable—no hon. Member has answered this—a man to escape who deliberately evades service. That is not according to the intention of the Committee. Therefore, in spite of all I have heard, and promising to re-examine with my advisers the arguments adduced in the debate, I can

    Division No. 60.]

    AYES

    [8.15 p.m

    Ainsley, WilliamHart, Mrs. JudithMitchison, G. R.
    Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Hayman, F. H.Moody, A. S.
    Baird, JohnHenderson, Rt.Hn.Arthur(Rwly Regis)Morris, John
    Bellenger, Rt. Hon, F. J.Herbison, Miss MargaretMoyle, Arthur
    Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)Hewitson, Capt. M.Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon)
    Blackburn, F.Hilton, A. V.Padley, W. E.
    Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)Holman, PercyPaget, R. T.
    Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan)Holt, ArthurPannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
    Bowles, FrankHughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)Pargiter, G. A.
    Boyden, JamesHughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Parker, John
    Brockway, A. FennerHunter, A. E.Pavitt, Laurence
    Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Hynd, H. (Accrington)Probert, Arthur
    Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.)Hynd, John (Attercliffe)Randall, Harry
    Cliffe, MichaelJay, Rt. Hon. DouglasRhodes, H.
    Collick, PercyJeger, GeorgeRobinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
    Corbet, Mrs FredaJenkins, Roy (Stechford)Ross, William
    Crosland, AnthonyJohnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
    Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield)
    Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Jones, Dan (Burnley)Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
    Deer, GeorgeKenyon, CliffordSkeffington, Arthur
    Dempsey, JamesKey, Rt. Hon. C. W.Snow, Julian
    Diamond, JohnKing, Dr. HoraceSorensen, R. W.
    Dodds, NormanLawson, GeorgeSoskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
    Ede, Rt. Hon. C.Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)Spriggs, Leslie
    Edwards, Walter (Stepney)Lipton, MarcusSteele, Thomas
    Evans, AlbertLoughlin, CharlesStonehouse, John
    Fitch, AlanMabon, Dr. J. DicksonSwingler, Stephen
    Fletcher, EricMcCann, JohnThornton, Ernest
    Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)MacColl, JamesTomney, Frank
    Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)McInnes, JamesUngoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn
    Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)McKay, John (Wallsend)Wainwright, Edwin
    Galpern, Sir MyerMackie, John (Enfield, East)Warbey, William
    Ginsburg, DavidMacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling)Wells, Percy (Faversham)
    Grey, CharlesMallalieu, E. L. (Brigg)Wells, William (Walsall, N.)
    Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield, E.)Willey, Frederick
    Griffiths, W. (Exchange)Manuel, A. C.Williams, LI. (Abertillery)
    Grimond, Rt. Hon. J.Mapp, CharlesYates, Victor (Ladywood)
    Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)Mellish, R. J.
    Hall, Rt. Hn. Glenvil (Colne Valley)Mendelson, J. J.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
    Hamilton, William (West Fife)Millan, BruceMr. Redhead and Mr. Cronin
    Hannan, WilliamMilne, Edward

    NOES

    Agnew, Sir PeterCary, Sir RobertFletcher-Cooke, Charles
    Aitken, W. T.Channon, H. P. G.Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)
    Allason, JamesChataway, ChristopherGammans, Lady
    Ashton, Sir HubertChichester-Clark, R.Gardner, Edward
    Atkins, HumphreyClark, Henry (Antrim, N.)Gibson-Watt, David
    Barlow, Sir JohnClark, William (Nottingham, S.)Gilmour, Sir John
    Barter, JohnCleaver, LeonardGlover, Sir Douglas
    Batsford, BrianCole, NormanGoodhart, Philip
    Bell, RonaldCollard, RichardGoodhew, Victor
    Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)Cooper, A. E.Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.
    Berkeley, HumphryCorfield, F. V.Green, Alan
    Biffen, JohnCostain, A. P.Gresham Cooke, R.
    Biggs-Davison, JohnCraddock, Sir BeresfordGurden, Harold
    Bingham, R. M.Curran, CharlesHamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)
    Bishop, F. P.Dance, JamesHarvey, John (Walthamstow, E.)
    Black, Sir CyrilDeedes, W. F.Harvie Anderson, Miss
    Bossom, CliveDigby, Simon wingfieldHastings, Stephen
    Bourne-Arton, A.Drayton, G. B.Hay, John
    Box, Donalddu Cann, EdwardHeald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel
    Boyle, Sir EdwardDuncan, Sir JamesHicks Beach, Maj. W.
    Brewis, JohnElliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton)
    Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir WalterElliott, R.W.(Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.)Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk)
    Brown, Alan (Tottenham)Emmet, Hon. Mrs. EvelynHirst, Geoffrey
    Browne, Percy (Torrington)Fell, AnthonyHobson, John
    Bullard, DenysFinlay, GraemeHocking, Philip N.
    Carr, Robert (Mitcham)Fisher, NigelHolland, Philip

    only again advise the Committee to reject the Amendment.

    Question put, That those words be there inserted:—

    The Committee divided: Ayes 118, Noes 185.

    Hughes-Young, MichaelNugent, Rt. Hon. Sir RichardSteward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
    Hulbert, Sir NormanOrr-Ewing, C. IanStodart, J. A.
    Hutchison, Michael ClarkOsborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
    Iremonger, T. L.Page, Graham (Crosby)Tapsell, Peter
    Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)Page, John (Harrow, West)Taylor, Frank (M'cn'st'r, Moss Side)
    James, DavidPannell, Norman (Kirkdale)Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
    Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich)Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
    Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle)Peel, JohnThompson, Kenneth (Walton)
    Johnson, Eric (Blackley)Pickthorn, Sir KennethTilney, John (Wavertree)
    Kerans, Cdr. J. S.Pilkington, Sir RichardTouche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon
    Kerr, Sir HamiltonPitman, Sir JamesTurner, Colin
    Kershaw, AnthonyPitt, Miss EdithTurton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
    Kirk, PeterPott, Percivallvan Straubenzee, W. R.
    Leburn, GilmourPowell, Rt. Hon. J. EnochVane, W. M. F.
    Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)Price, David (Eastleigh)Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John
    Linstead, Sir HughPrior, J. M. L.Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
    Litchfield, Capt. JohnProfumo, Rt. Hon. JohnWakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)
    Longden, GilbertProudfoot, WilfredWalker, Peter
    Loveys, Walter H.Pym, FrancisWall, Patrick
    Lucas-Tooth, Sir HughRamsden, JamesWard, Dame Irene
    MacArthur, IanRawlinson, PeterWebster, David
    McLaughlin, Mrs. PatriciaRedmayne, Rt. Hon. MartinWells, John (Maidstone)
    McMaster, Stanley R.Renton, DavidWhitelaw, William
    Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
    Macpherson, Niall (Dumfries)Robinson, Rt Hn Sir R. (B'pool, S.)Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
    Manningham-Buller, Rt. Hn. Sir R.Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
    Marshall, DouglasRoots, WilliamWise, A. R.
    Marten, NeilScott-Hopkins, JamesWolrige-Gordon, Patrick
    Mathew, Robert (Honiton)Seymour, LeslieWood, Rt. Hon. Richard
    Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)Sharples, RichardWoodhouse, C. M.
    Mawby, RayShaw, M.Woollam, John
    Maydon, Lt-Cmdr. S. L. C.Shepherd, WilliamWorsley, Marcus
    Mills, StrattonSimon, Rt. Hon. Sir JocelynYates, William (The Wrekin)
    More, Jasper (Ludlow)Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)
    Morgan, WilliamSmithers, PeterTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
    Mott-Radclyffe, Sir CharlesSmyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)Mr. Gordon Campbell and
    Neave, AireyStevens, GeoffreyMr. McLaren.

    I beg to move, in page 3, line 45, to leave out from the beginning to "enlisted" in line 11 on page 4 and to insert:

    (2) Where any person has been recalled or called out by such a notice as aforesaid, then, at all times during the period beginning with the date and time specified in the notice and ending with the completion of his service by virtue of that notice, he shall be liable to serve in any place, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, and the Army Act, 1955, shall apply to him as if he were an officer holding a land forces commission, warrant officer, noncommissioned officer or soldier, as the case may be, of the regular forces, and not a member of the territorial army, the army reserve or a reserve of officers, as the case may be, but, in the case of a person who does not for the time being hold a commission, subject to the same exceptions as in the case of a person.

    It is permissible to discuss at the same time the Amendment in page 4, line 6, at the end to insert:

    Provided that no person called out under subsection (1) of section three of this Act shall be regarded as a member of the Territorial Army for the purposes of section two hundred and eleven of the Army Act, 1955.
    but the vote will only be taken, if required, on the first Amendment.

    The Amendment represents a redrafting of subsections (2) and (3) of the Clause in their original form and I hope that the Committee will find that it is an improvement. Incidentally, it meets the point made by the hon. Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) in his Amendment in page 4, line 6. I share the regret expressed by others that the hon. Member has not been able to be here today to take part in our debates and to discuss this second Amendment which has been joined to the first for the purpose of discussion.

    The first four lines of the Amendment, down to "elsewhere", simply have the effect of making it clear that members of the Territorial Army who are called under Clauses 2 or 3 may be sent overseas. As the Committee will know, officers and men of the Territorial Army are liable under the Auxiliary Forces Act for service outside the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands only on embodiment.

    Hon. Members may wonder how it was ever thought that under this Bill, without the circumstances attending embodiment, we should have been able to send them overseas. The answer is that the Bill provides for those serving under it to do "Army service", as it is termed, and it might have been held that this term covered liability for service both at home and overseas. We thought it advisable, however, to provide specifically for service overseas by those affected, and this is what the first part of the Amendment does.

    The second part of the Amendment represents our reflections on the Amendment in the name of the hon. Member for Dudley. It makes it clear, as he wanted to do, that Section 211 of the Army Act does not apply to men called up under Clauses 2 and 3 of the Bill. Section 211 says that the Army Act does not apply in certain minor instances to members of the Territorial Army and the Army Emergency Reserve when embodied or called out.

    If the Section were applied to men recalled under Clause 2, and they are all members of the Territorial Army or the Army Emergency Reserve, or if it were applied to members of the Territorial Army Reserve when called out under Clause 3, they would be treated differently for Army Act purposes from the men retained under Clause 1, and, incidentally, differently in minor respects from each other.

    The hon. Member for Dudley was concerned that all men doing Army service under the Bill should be treated alike as far as the Army Act is concerned. At one stage, I was prepared to argue with him that this was what Clause 4 (2) in its original form did, but I am giving him the benefit of the doubt, which is often a wise thing to do on technical matters connected with Army law, and this is what the Amendment does.

    I have dealt with the position of the Territorial Army serving overseas and with the non-application of Section 211 to the remainder.

    It being half-past Eight o'clock, The CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to Orders, to put forthwith the Question necessary for the disposal of the Business to be concluded at that hour, including the Question on the Amendment, moved by a member of the Government, of which notice had been given, to Clause 4.

    Amendment agreed to.

    Question, That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill, put and agreed to.

    Clauses 5 to 8 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

    New Clause—(Duration Of Act)

    This Act shall expire at the end of twelve months from the date of its coming into force unless continued by an Expiring Laws Continuance Act.—[ Mr. Bellenger.]

    Brought up, and read the First time.

    I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

    After that holocaust of Clauses, with the Secretary of State to all intents and purposes getting his Bill in the last few minutes, without having to work for it; I hope that this new Clause will meet with his favourable consideration. I can assure him that it is moved with no Intention of restricting him unduly, because, after all, he now very nearly has his Bill through the Committee. But as I said yesterday, the Opposition are just as concerned as are the Government to provide the wherewithal for military forces that are considered necessary in the defence of this country's interests, and, of course, to meet our many commitments, particularly to N.A.T.O., which we have undertaken freely and of our own volition.

    However, there is one point which I urge upon right hon. and hon. Gentlemen. Ever since the time of the New Model Army—which is going back to the seventeenth century—Parliament has always been jealous of any attempt by the Executive, or, in those days, by the Monarchy, to have regular forces in peace time. That is why up to 1955 we had the annual Army Act. That is the reason why the Secretary of State and all the other defence Departments have to come to the House once a year to present their Estimates and tell the House how many men they want and how much money.

    There has been good reason for the suspicion of the House of Commons about the Executive having military forces at its command which it could use not always in circumstances that would meet with the approval of the House. I think recent history has shown that many of the revolutions that have taken place in other countries have been carried through only because military forces were at the command of the leaders. I do not attempt to say that in this democratic country the Government of the day would ever use our Forces except to meet external dangers, but I do say—and here I must repeat, though briefly, something I said yesterday—that it is not unknown for Governments to use military forces for emergencies which they define as emergencies within our own territory.

    Nor do I suggest for a moment that the Secretary of State, who is quite an inoffensive Minister, if I may call him that, for he is certainly unlike some of the Secretaries for War we have had in the past, will use the forces in any other way than the way in which they are meant to be used. Indeed, the right hon. Gentleman told us both today and yesterday that they would be used only in that way. But my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) put his finger on the spot when he said that there is no definition of an emergency in the Bill. I agree that it would be difficult to put it in legal language, but nevertheless my right hon. Friend is right in saying that there is no explanation about what an emergency might be which would warrant the Secretary of State, without a proclamation, calling up something like, I think, 60,000 reservists.

    Then the figure is correct. The Secretary of State could call up 60,000 men without Proclamation. I do not believe that he will do that or envisages doing it even in the event of a grave military emergency such as might occur over Berlin. But we have been trying to probe his intentions about what he wants to do.

    We have met with a certain amount of success. For instance, on Clause 3, he said that he had it in mind, without tying himself to a definite figure, to try to recruit 15,000 "Ever-readies". He followed this with the very pregnant remark that if he could get what he wanted in "Ever-readies" he might not need Clause 2. We know that in the course of time Clause 1 will disappear because the men will not be there. Clause 1 is to retain certain members of the Forces in view of the possible emergency and of the tension. But it has a time limit, whatever happens to the rest of the Bill.

    Therefore, in a year's time, or thereabouts, Clause 1 will go into oblivion. If the Government keep their pledge to do away with conscription, there will not be the National Service men available on whom the Secretary of State can call under Clause 1. That is one of the arguments which I use in substantiating this new Clause, which is not a trivial one. The argument contains an essential principle, which I think the Secretary of State could willingly concede.

    The right hon. Gentleman told us today that Parliament will have some control over reserve forces because of the financial control. Every year he must come to the House of Commons and present his Estimates, and we know to the last penny, subject to supplementary estimates, what the total cost will be and how many men are to be allocated to the Regular Army, the Territorial Army and the Reserves.

    There are one or two other arguments. The first is the reason why we have the Bill at all. It is very unusual between Estimates to ask Parliament to provide for a maximum of 60,000 men who could be used for a purpose which only the Secretary of State for War needs to say is sufficient reason for their call-up. Of course, he would have to come to Parliament and say what he was doing, but he could do it without consulting Parliament, without a Proclamation. All he has to do is to come to Parliament after he has called them up and tell us that he has done so.

    If news got out that he had used his power, Standing Order No. 9 would be brought into operation immediately, long before he came to Parliament to tell us.

    That may be, but I do not think that the hon. Member will dissent when I say—indeed, it has already been said, and he himself hinted at it and the right hon. Gentleman has admitted it—that the Secretary of State can do more or less as he likes. It is he who says what is the tension which necessitates calling up these reserves. It is he who says that he will call them up, and Parliament will have hardly any control of the calling-up process.

    He could call them up in the middle of a Recess. There is no requirement in the Bill that Parliament shall meet within a certain time to consider emergency regulations, or anything like that.

    That is an extension of my argument. Parliament will have very little control over the calling up of these reserves, although it has always insisted on complete control from year to year and on having some power of restriction on the Secretary of State.

    I do not want to give the Secretary of State such wide powers, although I recognise the reason for these reserves and I expressed my approval of the "Ever-readies" when we discussed Clause 3. That ought to be a very good reserve for the Regular Forces. But I do not agree with the way in which the right hon. Gentleman is to present us with a blank cheque. When public money which cannot be put under a particular heading has to be spent, it is spent out of the Consolidated Fund, but when it comes to military matters the House of Commons should be very chary about giving the right hon. Gentleman powers which he can use almost at his pleasure and certainly at Parliamentary leisure, when the House of Commons is not meeting.

    Even now the right hon. Gentleman seems not quite sure of the set-up of his own Army. I thought that when the Berlin trouble arose. I suppose that it would be wrong to say that the War Office panicked, but we might put it on the politicians, for it is not unknown for politicians to panic. I believe that, having given their pledge to do away with conscription and their recruiting not going as well as had been thought, the politicians suddenly realised that there would be this trough, this vacuum, between the passing out of the last National Service man and the time when the right hon. Gentleman got the numbers he required to make up his Regular Army to the strength required to meet commitments in the various parts of the world.

    I shall be interested to hear from the hon. Gentleman for how long he wants these powers. If the Bill is passed in its entirety, it could go on from year to year until Parliament decided to repeal it, subject to factors like the disappear ance of Clause 1 because no man would be affected by it. Because I do not believe that the Secretary of State should have these wide powers, I have put forward the new Clause, so that the Bill would be continued for only twelve months from the date of its coming into force unless it were continued by the Expiring Laws Continuance Act.

    8.45 p.m.

    That should not cause the right hon. Gentleman too much trouble. Every hon. Member knows that when we discuss the Act we are very limited in what we can say, and if at the end of the year the right hon. Gentleman thought that he wanted to continue these provisions the short debate that would then occur should not cause him any apprehension. I cannot think that if he repeated what he has already told us today—the reason why he wants these men—Parliament would deny him those powers. He might say, "Why should I do that". We used to have an annual Army Bill. In 1955 the House decided it would keep that Act in being and only if we needed to amend it would we do so, as occasion arose. Why should not the same process be carried out with this Bill?"

    The reason is that whereas the Army Act deals with the discipline of the Army, this Measure deals with a far more vital matter. It is concerned with providing reserve powers to call up a vast number of men and to dislocate their lives. The "Ever-readies" would go in with their eyes open and would he paid for the obligation they were undertaking. The same would apply to the Class "A" Reserve. The position of National Service men fulfilling their liability in the Territorial Army would not be quite the same. Those men are there not because they volunteered but because Parliament decided that they should be there, and they must obey the law, like everyone else.

    During the Second Reading debate the right hon. Gentleman explained, as one of the reasons why he wanted the Bill, that the War Office was
    "engaged in a detailed examination of the effectiveness of our present system of reserves against the background of the requirements of today."—[OFFICIAL REPORT. 27th November. 1961; Vol. 649, c. 51.]
    He went on to say that that would take some time. When it had been completed he would presumably explain to the House what his ideas were about the reserves for the Regular Army, just as he explains the position every year in the Army Estimates debate.

    I do not know how long that examination will take. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman will tell us. The Regular Army may be all right; I think that it will be. Once the National Service men are out of it he will have a very good Army, with the comparatively long terms of engagement on which men are enlisting today, and therefore he will get back to the situation which prevailed before the war and has never prevailed during and since the war. The War Office must make up its mind what will be the scope of the Regular and the Reserve Forces. It would be far better if the right hon. Gentleman then explained to the House, as he has explained to us today, very carefully and technically, in terms which the House could understand, the scope of the Regular Forces that he wants and the scope of the Reserve Forces to back them up.

    That is why I want the Bill to come up for renewal each year. I do not want him to go away next week, when the Bill has passed its Report and Third Reading stages, and say, "That is through at last; now we can sit back and take a breather." I want him to be constantly on his toes; indeed, he will have to be if what he says about the cold war is right. He must be ready for all tricks and turns. In that case, why should not he present to the House a properly balanced force and not, as will be the case under the Bill, a makeshift force? The forces provided by Clauses 1 and 2 will certainly be makeshift, although those under Clause 3, the "Ever-readies", may not be so bad. I am inclined to think that if the right hon. Gentleman makes a success of that, as I believe he will, he will get back to something like the old volunteer system which my right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields knew so many years ago, at the beginning of the century.

    Well, at the end of the last century. At any rate, it was quite a long time ago.

    The right hon. Gentleman must know that the situation of the Regular Army in 1914, with its reserves, provided us with a very good Army, and possibly we have not been able to have such an Army since. Here is a chance for the right hon. Gentleman so to recast his plans that in a year's time he may be able, if not to tell us completely what are his plans, to give us a hint of how his mind is working.

    Yesterday and today we have been given no idea from the right hon. Gentleman about what he is working for. We have been given a piece of the jigsaw puzzle, but not the complete puzzle. I think that it is the right of Parliament to insist on that, in view of what I have said about our jealousy about giving unlimited power to the Government or the Executive. We are verging on that in this case. I do not say that the power is unlimited, but the right hon. Gentleman is being given vast power to do things which may not coincide with opinion on both sides of the House.

    May I mention, briefly, one matter which is now past history, namely, Suez. There may be other expeditions of that nature. The right hon. Gentleman, or the Service Ministers, could not have engaged in that had they not had the Regular forces. At any rate, a section of opinion in the House and in the country was concerned about the use of those forces. Other occasions may occur when the right hon. Gentleman may think that he should use his forces for escapades of that kind. What control has Parliament over him, if he can call up a large number of men by Proclamation and use them, not necessarily for something like Suez, but to supplement the Regular forces which may have been drawn off to different parts of the world to engage in such undertakings.

    The right hon. Gentleman will recollect, whether he likes it or not, that the Government of the day did call up the Reserves at the time of Suez.

    If the right hon. Gentleman thinks that I am going too far in my imaginings, let him say so when he replies. I am putting before the Committee thoughts which occurred to me and which may be a little extravagant. But I have been in the position which the right hon. Gentleman now occupies and, although times were different then, I know that our Regular forces can sometimes be diverted into channels in a way in which, if the House knew all the truth, it would not agree. The "Ever-readies" and the other sorts of reserves could be "infiltrated"—if I may use the word—into positions occupied by the Regular forces and the Regular forces used elsewhere.

    Be that as it may, I am only trying to understand the possibilities which may occur, and which have occurred in the past. I do not know whether the Committee would think the power for which I am asking is too much. But, considering what the right hon. Gentleman has been given yesterday and today, I put it to him that it is not too much to ask that if he wishes to continue this, he should do so by yearly legislation, so that he may "come clean" to the House of Commons and tell us how he is getting on, and how many more or how fewer of these men he requires.

    The right hon. Gentleman will set up a committee—I think it a well-manned committee, although there was some criticism yesterday—to deal with hardship compassionate cases. No doubt many hon. Members will have cases to present to the Secretary of State. Let us hope, therefore, that with the assistance of his committee the right hon. Gentleman will be able to satisfy those hon. Members. But he may not be able to do so, and hon. Members may take grave objection to the way in which he is manipulating or administering compassionate and hardship cases.

    The House has been lenient so far in this matter, because we have had what appeared to be good assurances from the right hon. Gentleman that he would give every satisfaction to every individual whom he thought was undergoing hardship.

    The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head. Perhaps I overstressed the point. It is true that the aggrieved soldier has to satisfy his commanding officer, but the commanding officers vary. If I understood the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman, he explained that when a commanding officer turns down an application of a soldier for deferment or to be excused service of one kind or another, that soldier's plea will get to him to decide.

    I am very glad that he assents, because I know that there are some commanding officers who are rather impatient with complaints or grievances which they think trivial and which they dismiss because either they have not the time to consider them fully or they do not know the facts.

    I should remind the right hon. Gentleman that I have given an undertaking and have given instructions that no commanding officer may withhold a request from a soldier provided that request is substantiated by evidence. What I do not feel able to give, and have not yet given, is an undertaking that I shall give satisfaction in every case, but I will give consideration to every case.

    I quite agree that the right hon. Gentleman cannot always give satisfaction. No Minister can do that; that is why they do not last for too long. I welcome his assurance because a soldier is not always a skilled person in putting his own complaint. I had considerable experience during the war when I was writing for a popular journal of having thousands of complaints from soldiers and others. When I sifted them I found that quite a lot of them had suffered injustice because they had not been treated properly by commanding officers in the first place.

    We ask the right hon. Gentleman to agree to an early limitation on these powers because we want to see that his assurances, which so far seem satisfactory, will work in practice as he says they will. That is another reason for asking him to agree to some limitation. The right hon. Gentleman said today, in answer to a question of mine, that he was aiming at something like 15,000 "Ever-readies". If he could get the number he wanted he might be able to dispense with Clause 2, that is the ex-Service men with three-and-a-half years liability. They would not be needed for call-up and Clause 1 would have disappeared, because there would be no more National Service men in the Army. Then two of the main Clauses of the Bill would have gone. When they have gone, why should the Measure be kept in existence?

    In a year or two years' time, why should the right hon. Gentleman not say to the House, "I have got my Regular forces and my reserve forces"—I hope he will explain how he will balance them—"I do not need this Measure any more." This is a temporary Measure, the Minister said. How "temporary" is it to be or how "permanent" is it to be? I suggest that he should agree to this new Clause, which is not asking too much of him.

    9.0 p.m.

    There is one other matter I should like to mention. The whole purpose of this Bill, as the right hon. Gentleman has explained it, is to meet that tension Which he says builds up from time to time or continues in the form of the cold war. If he is right, he will need these different reserves, but he will also need Parliament's support in having them. I do not think Parliament will be ungenerous in giving him what he wants, but let us suppose that, by any chance, the Government or the Foreign Secretary can lower the tension, or that the Prime Minister can get an agreement which will, at any rate, put that tension into cold storage for some years.

    It is not impossible. When one considers the inter-war years, one remembers that there was rising tension after the First World War, and that by a series of pacts, agreements and treaties there seemed to be a period when there was peace. Indeed, after the First World War, the War Office based its plans on the assumption that there would be no major war in ten years. It may very well be that the right hon. Gentleman is right in what he said about tension, for tension can decrease as well as increase. I quite agree that we must not be too optimistic about that, but it might be. Then, does the right hon. Gentleman tell the House that he will still want this Bill? If he does say that, he is denying the whole basis on which he has built up the arguments advanced on this Bill.

    I pay this tribute to the right hon. Gentleman. He has been criticised, and rightly so, and, after all, he has been long enough in the House to know that the Secretary of State for War always has to come in for criticism. The Army always has criticism, and not without reason. We have only to take the history of the British Army to know that there have been very good reasons on occasions for criticising the chief of the Army—the Secretary of State for War.

    I believe that the right hon. Gentleman has tried to do his best to mitigate the hardships which, as he said, will follow from the operation of the Bill. I should also like to thank him for the way he has tried to meet the various points, especially the technical points, of my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg), which I hope ne has always understood, which, perhaps, from time to time, have been very technical, perhaps too technical for some of us, but which he has done his best to meet.

    I am asking him now, unless there is any vital reason for having these unlimited powers, because that is what it means if we pass this Bill without any limit on its duration, to be reasonable and accept the Amendment. He has not accepted any of the Amendments, although he has done his best to sympathise with us and say how much he would like to help us. We are used to that in this House, but here is an opportunity for the right hon. Gentleman, after listening to what I have had to say, to give us this new Clause, which, I suggest to him will not cause him any undue hardship or undue disability, or any other unwarranted restriction on the immense powers which he is asking the Committee to grant him this evening.

    I have not previously intervened in the debates on the Bill, but I wish to support the new Clause so fully and cogently moved and argued by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger).

    The point raised in this proposed Clause is whether the Bill should be of indefinite duration, or whether its operation should be limited to expire in twelve months' time, and then be subject to annual review under the Expiring Laws Continuance Act.

    As my right hon. Friend said, this involves a serious constitutional issue. Parliament and the country have always been very jealous indeed about the powers which they give the Executive with regard to the Armed Forces of the Crown. This feeling of jealousy and concern had its origin much earlier than the seventeenth century. It is well grounded. It is based on the conviction that the Executive of the day ought not to have powers over the Armed Forces which are not fully justified and subject to the most minute and critical control by Parliament.

    Parliamentary control does not consist merely of financial control. Obviously, there are matters of controlling Government expenditure. Estimates have to be voted. Supplementary Estimates have to be introduced if the annual Votes are exceeded. There has to be a great deal of financial control over Government expenditure, including expenditure on the Armed Forces.

    The reason why a special measure of Parliamentary control is required over the Armed Forces is that it affects not merely the purse of the taxpayer, but individual freedom and liberty. The feeling is well grounded that people ought not to be called up to serve in the Armed Forces unless there is overriding necessity. As the Secretary of State knows, we object to the Bill. We think that it is a bad, an unfair, and an unnecessary Bill. We think that the whole of the Minister's policy with regard to the Army is ill-conceived.

    I will not go into the technical grounds on which the Minister has been criticised in these debates, but he is aware of the volume of criticism which is directed against his policy. No doubt he will get the Bill. He will convince the majority of hon. Members that the provisions contained in it are necessary. Be it so. There will remain the question as to the duration for which the Crown should have this power.

    As my right hon. Friend said, the whole case for the Bill is that it is required as a temporary expedient to meet a particular emergency. It is not even put forward by the Government as something which is required as a permanent reform of our military law. Its only justification and raison d'être is that there is at this time an emergency in the international situation and in the quality and quantity of our Armed Forces which makes this Measure, curious, unusual, difficult, and controversial as many of its provisions are, necessary to meet a limited, temporary, transient emergency. That is the ground upon which it is put forward.

    Therefore, it seems to me to follow as a consequence of the Secretary of State's own logic that he should bow to the traditions of this country with regard to the Army Acts and curtail the duration of the Measure. We are not asking very much. We are not asking the Committee to agree to anything which is sensational or which will curtail the Government's powers. We suggest that the traditions of Parliamentary life and understanding should be recognised. The Bill should operate for twelve months only, with all its inconvenience, including the fact that these 60,000 reservists can be called up without Proclamation when Parliament is in Recess, when there is no opportunity of criticising the Government, when there is no possibility of having an emergency debate under Standing Order No. 9, and when there is no opportunity that the machinery of a Proclamation would provide for dealing with such a situation.

    In an intervention a few minutes ago the Secretary of State said that reservists were called up at the time of Suez. Is he aware that, on that occasion, there was a Proclamation? If the Bill is passed there will be no need for a Proclamation. What would happen in the case of another Suez'? That is one of the salient differences which this Bill introduces.

    The Committee has already agreed—under the Guillotine—to the Clauses conferring these vast powers on the Government and the Opposition are suggesting that those powers should be renewed in a year's time. It is a recognised feature of our democratic machinery that we have the Expiring Laws Continuance Act to enable Acts that are contentious, dangerous or of a temporary nature to be renewed once a year so that all those Acts which would otherwise expire can be put in a Schedule and go through their Second Reading stages, often without debate.

    A great many Bills in the Schedule provoke no controversy when they come up for renewal but, if they do, there is an opportunity for the House to see if they should be renewed for another year and, which is equally important, to enable hon. Members to examine the administrative methods by which a particular Act coming up for renewal has been operated.

    The Aliens Measure—one of far-reaching importance affecting many thousands of people—is an example of an Act which is subject to the Expiring Laws Continuance Act. It is not a permanent feature of our legislation—although it is no less important in its affect on the lives of people than will be this Bill. This is an Army Bill and our tradition for hundreds of years has been that such Measures should be looked at annually.

    Until 1955, for hundreds of years, Army Acts required annual renewal. We put them on a quasi-permanent basis for various reasons because they affected discipline and there was no need to review them year by year. This Bill, however, is analogous to the old Army Bills which came up for renewal annually, a practice which, as I have said, continued for centuries.

    As has been pointed out, there is great concern about how the Bill will be administered, especially with regard to cases of hardship, call-up and all the technical problems to which my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw referred. The Minister intervened a short while ago to say that he could give certain assurances, but he qualified his remarks by saying that he could not give satisfaction. We want an opportunity, annually, to see how these cases of hardship, call-up, and so on, have been dealt with, for that is the right of Parliament and of the Opposition. It is something which should not be denied us. When Bills of this kind are introduced, which affect human beings—

    The National Service Act does not have to be renewed each year, but every hon. Member has the right to ask the Secretary of State for War to see that he is looking after men properly.

    9.15 p.m.

    I agree that hon. Members have the right to put questions, but that is not the same thing. We want to see how the Bill will operate. Apart from that, my hon. Friends want an opportunity of reviewing annually whether the circumstances of the day warrant these extraordinary powers being renewed for a further year.

    My last, but not my least important, point is that there is a compelling reason why the duration of this Bill, certainly, and I would say, of nearly every Bill which the Government introduce from now on, should be criticised. That overriding reason is that the Government are embarking on Common Market negotiations which may or may not materialise this year—although in some quarters it is said that they will. If that proves true then, with all the ramifications of the Treaty of Rome coming into operation, no hon. Member conceals from himself, although members of the Government may try to conceal it from the country, that there will follow constitutional changes of a very great order.

    I am not now considering the merits of the Common Market—that would be irrelevant, and out of order—but it is obvious from what has been said, and from the documents that have been published, that if we become bound by the Treaty of Rome the consequences not only in our economic and commercial life, but in our social and fiscal legislation and, inevitably, in our military legislation, will be profound, incalculable and far-reaching.

    That event would also involve questions of sovereignty, and so forth, not less than the liberty of the subject and the rights of the individual. I am not speculating as to what they might be, but no one can really doubt how far-reaching would be the consequences of that act which, rightly or wrongly—and I am not arguing that question—is being contemplated by the Government.

    That such a vastly important change is impending, and may take place, is an additional reason why we should think very carefully before placing, for an indefinite period, new and controversial legislation on the Statute Book. It may be all right to have it there for twelve months, but I would say of almost any Bill that is to be brought forward, and of this one, above all, that the Common Market possibility is an additional reason for recommending the Committee to say, "There are good reasons for passing the Bill this year, but we should limit its duration so that in a year's time, whether or not we are in the Common Market, or are still on its fringe, and, whether we are more aware of the vast changes it will produce, we should have another opportunity of considering whether these vast powers for which the Government are asking should be renewed."

    Therefore, I would hope that the Minister, having heard the opinions expressed here, would recognise the rights of Parliament and content himself with having the Bill for twelve months; and with having the right to ask Parliament to renew it annually under an Expiring Laws Continuance Act.

    This is a very important and fundamental new Clause. Almost every hon. Member must worry about whether we should allow the Executive to take these powers, but I think that Parliament is in a dilemma. In the cold war, we want the Executive to be able to move quickly and efficiently, and without having Proclamations and putting the country in a state of probably unnecessary alarm. Therefore, because of the Berlin crisis earlier last year, the Government have, I think rightly, decided that from time to time they need, because of the cold war, the power to call up reserves and have them immediately available.

    If we want the Executive and the Minister to be efficient and to do the job for the security of the country, how can we have Clauses like this, to the their hands? I have heard the argument that if this power was used during a Recess, Parliament would have no chance to correct the Executive's action, or that of the Secretary of State for War who signs a document on any particular day. In fact, if we look back to 1956, we realise that the Executive can act and take decisions without consulting Parliament.

    I am very sceptical about whether or not I should support the new Clause. But I will say this for the Minister. He already has his officials and a committee working on the whole problem of our Reserve Forces and how they are to be co-ordinated and controlled. If he would give a quite simple undertaking that eventually he intends to bring another Bill before the House which places all our Reserve Forces in proper order to face the emergencies of the cold war, I would be inclined at present not to accept the Clause, but to give him these powers. But that is entirely dependent on the condition or understanding that he will assure the House that the method of calling up our reserves and using our reserves in time of emergency is being considered.

    We have a difficult task as Members because not only have we to protect the rights of our constituents and guard against the Executive doing something which we cannot accept as a House, but we also demand that the Executive be swift, bold and efficient. Therefore, on reflection, I would be prepared to vote against this new Clause if the Minister would give a categorical undertaking that the whole of our Reserve Forces and the method of call-up is being considered.

    I am not prepared to accept the point of view of the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates). If this Bill is passed, and is ever operated, to call up 60,000 men will produce a state of excitement in this country and abroad that ought not to be created without the prior or immediate consent of the House. The liberties of this country depend upon Ministers answering at the Dispatch Box for all their actions, particularly Ministers who are advised by the military. The fundamental basis on which British democracy works is that the civilian Minister is in control and responsible to this House, and it is the individual responsibility of every man who values English tradition to see that it is not eroded in any way.

    I cannot accept the proposition that we can give the Minister this Bill if he undertakes to bring in another. What will be the basis of the new Bill? "In March or some early month of 1962", it will be said, "we acquired these powers, and on them we propose to build." It will be assumed that this Bill represents sound policy at the moment, on which, in the easy way in which public panic can be created, further measures ought to be brought in and new and added powers given to the Minister.

    The hon. Member for The Wrekin said that the Departments ought to be swift, bold and resolute. I almost expected him to add, "It is well known that I believe that in every action they have taken, particularly overseas, those have been their distinguishing characteristics."

    I do not want to be contentious with the right hon. Gentleman, but I should have thought that the action of Her Majesty's Government in Kuwait last year was a perfect example of what we should expect the Executive to do to protect our interests.

    But one would expect any Executive to take action in advance and not be found out afterwards.

    I do not think that the example the hon. Gentleman chose was one which proved any case at all.

    Because the other side did not turn up, we do not know what the strength of our bowlers is. I can think of 1956.

    "Never mind", says the hon. Gentleman now.

    We do not know the total number of men whose lives will be affected by the Bill. My right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) assumes that in a short time Clause 2 will be unnecessary. [Interruption.] I try to accept what my right hon. Friend says. I have a congenital reluctance to believe anything said on the other side of the Committee. I suggest that the new Clause is amply justified merely by the existence of Clause 2. One of the things which happens occasionally on the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill is that an Act is proposed for continuation except for certain sections of it, and it is continued in that form.

    It will be very necessary, when various parts of this Bill become no longer applicable in the circumstances then existing, that those parts should be re pealed. The annual review gives the Secretary of State a chance of doing that. Ministers always face difficulty—my right hon. Friend knows this—in getting a Bill into the Government programme, and a Bill to amend this Bill after it has been passed will encounter that difficulty. On the other hand, if it is included in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, any necessary amendment can be made, and in that way we can rest assured that the Government cannot get on the barrack square more men than the House is willing to see them have.

    9.30 p.m.

    One of the problems confronting me in regard to this Bill is this. I take the position of men under Clause 1. They are in the Army. They will be told that their service is to be extended. They cannot protest. They are there. The Army has the bodies. What is more, it has the swords. Prior to the introduction of this Bill, they had every right to assume that at a date now rapidly approaching they would be able to return to their homes. Did not the right hon. Gentleman tell us that about 2,000 men were eligible under the law as it stands to leave the Army on 2nd or 4th April, or a date like that? [Interruption.] There were to be two groups. Whether the figure is 2,000 or 2,500, it does not affect the principle.

    Those men will be told that Parliament has decided that they are to stay in the Army for a further six months. They may feel that they have a grievance, that they have been treated very unjustly and that they would like to show their protest in some way. I hope that they will not do that because I am an old soldier and I do not like to see troops unnecessarily getting themselves into trouble. But let us assume that some men are due to come out of the Army on 2nd April and that on the morning of 2nd April, instead of parading in accordance with the orders which have been issued, they do not appear. What will happen? They have refused to obey an order. If they go very much further, they may even be accused of mutiny.

    It is very serious that this could happen in a free country, and I hope that some apology and explanation will be tendered to the troops when orders are issued informing them of the change in their position that this Bill will create when it becomes an Act of Parliament. They have been selected, merely because the Army has the bodies, as the people on whom the first and worst effects of this Bill shall fall.

    It is a bad thing when soldiers are disgruntled. I recollect my commanding officer saying to me one morning, "What is the spirit of the troops this morning?" I said, "They are grousing like hell." He said, "Do not you know that the bigger the grouser the better the soldier?" "Then", I said, "we have the best lot since the Battle of Hastings". Disgruntled soldiers, when the feeling has some justification, are not easy people to deal with, and their spirit is apt to be infectious. Therefore, let us be quite clear that what we are doing is very serious.

    We have had no real indication of what these men will do when they are retained or called up. The worst problem of all is the regiment or company which feels that there is no justification for it being in the Army. I do not accept what has been said during discussions on this Bill that numerous young men have said that they have done nothing worth while in the Army and that their service in it has been a waste of time. I do not think that that has been as fully justified as the volume and heat of some of the complaints would suggest. Troops who feel that they are not being used get into a frame of mind that is not good for morale. We ought to have an assurance that men will not be unnecessarily called up when within seven days of their reporting to the depot or barracks it is obvious that there is no military duty for them.

    I hope the Secretary of State will realise that I am anxious to see a good Army, well disciplined and of fine morale, which believes that it is doing an essential job. If the Secretary of State can get that, he will not have some of the disciplinary troubles that happen when the Army gets into the frame of mind which I have described.

    I was reading the history of the end of the great civil war and the plight of the tribunal that was set up to try the King was being discussed. One of the descriptions of the scene was as follows. There sat in the shadows a man whose word would determine what the verdict would be, for he was the idol of 55,000 unconquered and unconquerable men. Let us realise that an Army too large for its job is always a menace to civil order. That is why, since the days of the New Model Army, which had many things to commend it, the House of Commons has always been jealous of allowing unnecessary armed force to be at the disposal of the Government.

    I did not hear the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw the other evening, but I was responsible for keeping the wheels moving and the ships being turned round in the Port of London. We did not use the troops as strike breakers. We tried to preserve those two essential parts of the life of the community. In the London Docks, it is almost amusing to see the troops trying to unload ships. Some men from my old regiment, the East Surreys, were there, and I went down to see them. When I arrived a sergeant was having a dispute with a striker, who said, "You are using that crane so inefficiently that when I come back here next week I shall not be able to use it."

    On the whole, there was the best of feeling between the troops and the strikers in London, and as far as I know no military trouble was caused in any way. When the Home Secretary approached the Secretary of State for War in those days, the suggestion that troops should be diverted from their ordinary training to do the kind of things I have just mentioned was not warmly received. My right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw will agree that that is putting it mildly.

    I do not want so large a military force to be available that the Army will welcome the chance of having something on which to put the troops to work. I know one by-pass road in Surrey which was built by Canadians. The authorities of the Canadian Army asked the highway authority to build that highway and to use their engineers to do it.

    When we are dealing with this problem we should realise that over the centuries there have been plenty of warnings in this country and elsewhere against getting people under military orders for whom there is no real necessity. I know that the Secretary of State will say that he would never do anything like that, and I accept that statement before it is made, but if he has this Bill on the Statute Book with no time limit on it we must take very long-term views of the situation which he would be creating.

    I sympathise very much with the men whose domestic and professional lives will be diverted in some way by the Bill. The new Clause will enable them to feel, among other things, that this interruption of their careers will not be unnecessarily prolonged if Parliament has to have an annual look at the Act. I am certain that the aliens law is better administered in this country because there is an annual review than it would be if in certain circumstances it was made part of the statute law of the land.

    The hon. Member for The Wrekin, who apparently knows all the Government's secrets, has told us all about what the Minister will do in getting the Bill implemented. The Minister thinks that one year is too short. It would mean one year from the passing of the Bill and he would have to name it in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill just before Christmas this year. If the right hon. Gentleman intimated that he could accept the new Clause, if it were framed in a form that stated we would give him this power until the autumn of 1963, when the earlier people would be out of the Army, and that after that he would propose to the House an annual review in the form suggested in the new Clause, that ought to satisfy him and, I hope, would satisfy my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw. Unless the right hon. Gentleman can say that, I shall feel obliged to vote with my right hon. Friend, for the reasons I have given.

    9.45 p.m.

    I love the British Army, and so does my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw. I served in it as a young man for four years in the Volunteers, as I told the Committee last night. I had joined a body called the National Reserve just before the First World War, and when war was declared I redeemed the pledge I had given and served until about February, 1919. I enjoyed the comradeship of the Army. I know that if a man is willing to accept other men in a spirit of equality and comradeship, the companionship of the Army can be very good for all the people who are in it.

    It is not because I have any fear of the British Army—at least, of the rank and file—but when the military advisers of the War Office hear that there are 100,000 men or so whose bodies can be obtained, I fear the pressure that they may put on the Secretary of State and that this may result in a great deal of unnecessary disturbance of civil life. I ask the Secretary of State to meet my right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw in the spirit that, while we want to ensure that there shall be an efficient Army, according to British standards, there shall also be no men unnecessarily taken away from civilian occupations, because we have as big a battle to fight in the civil and industrial fields as we have in the military field. We cannot escape from that battle, and where men are best employed in civil and industrial life they should be available for that battle.

    I had hoped that the Secretary of State would be sympathetic to this new Clause. I tried to study his facial expression while it has been discussed and I have an uneasy feeling that he is not sympathetic. For that reason, I intervene to recall that he has said, both inside and outside the House, that he will not use these powers except in case of emergency. I think that I once asked him whether he could confirm that. I cannot, therefore, understand why he cannot consider this Clause in the sense that, once twelve months have elapsed, he will have a view about what kind of emergency there has been and can discuss with the House of Commons the suitability or otherwise of the Bill being continued.

    My right hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) referred to the fact that this was, after all, a temporary Measure. I do not like these references to "temporary" and "permanent". I have been opposed for sixteen years in the House of Commons to the continuance of compulsory military service. I remember that the late Neville Chamberlain was the first one to introduce compulsory military training in time of peace. He said then, "We know what the Opposition feel about this, but it is only temporary." That was in April, 1939, and compulsory military service has continued for twenty-one years.

    I remember that when we were asking one of my right hon. Friends in the Labour Government whether National Service was to be permanent, he said that "permanent" was a very difficult word to define and added:
    "I do not ask to see
    The distant scene; one step enough for me."
    I am suspicious of the use of the word "temporary".

    I think that the Minister genuinely meant it when he said that this provision was only to meet an emergency. In that case, will he not look sympathetically at the new Clause, which simply says that the Bill shall expire at the end of twelve months from the date of its coming into force, unless it is continued by the Expiring Laws Continuance Act? The hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mr. W. Yates) said that that would tie the Minister's hands. I do not understand how it could. If the right hon. Gentleman is asking for something to meet a temporary emergency, why cannot he ask for it to be continued after twelve months, if he wishes to do so? He could even introduce a new Bill.

    Before we get tied up together on this business, the answer is that if the Secretary of State gives an assurance to me and the rest of the Committee that he intends to introduce another Bill in the place of this to deal with the Reserve Forces and their call-up, I am prepared to accept his word and allow this Bill to go through without this new Clause. If he cannot give that assurance, that is a different matter.

    I cannot see how the right hon. Gentleman could say now, without experience of the Bill over twelve months, whether he will be able to introduce another Bill. But I would have thought that it would safeguard the view of the hon. Member for The Wrekin if the Bill were continued for only twelve months in order to meet this emergency.

    My right hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) spoke of the interruption in industry. National Service itself is cumbersome and employers of labour have found it extremely difficult to deal with the inconveniences which result from it. While one understands that the Bill may be necessary in an emergency, why is it necessary to continue it after the emergency?

    I am very disappointed that we have not had a clearer answer to our questions. The Secretary of State thinks that the Bill is only temporary. As he has practically got the Committee stage of the Bill, I appeal to him at least to meet us some way on this issue and undertake that as soon as the emergency is passed, if there is an emergency, he will not continue with these powers to meet a situation which is not likely to arise.

    I apologise to the Committee for not having been here during the whole of the discussion of the new Clause. The answer to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Mr. V. Yates) is that in so far as the Bill is compulsory its effect is temporary, and that in so far as it is permanent it deals only with volunteers, who need not be caught unless they wish to be.

    What the hon. Member for Stroud (Mr. Kershaw) has said makes the case for the new Clause. I accept that the position in regard to Clauses 1 and 2 is different from that with regard to Clause 3. If the right hon. Gentleman were prepared to put down an Amendment on Report dealing with this matter as the new Clause proposes, but confined to Clauses I and 2, that would satisfy me. I agree that Clause 3, which deals with the "Ever-readies", deals with volunteers and is permanent by its nature.

    As the hon. Member for Stroud has pointed out, Clauses 1 and 2 are temporary. That being the case, they should come to an end. They should, therefore, be included in the temporary legislation that comes to an end when it is no longer needed. That is a very good reason for including them in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, which we consider each year in order to see whether certain legislation is still necessary.

    It is admitted that Clauses 1 and 2 impinge on the principles of civil liberty. It is admitted that they operate arbitrarily and unfairly on a section of the population chosen at random. Is it unreasonable that Parliament should say to the Government, "Since you are doing this, we should have an annual opportunity to consider the way in which you are operating these provisions, and to raise on the Floor of the House any grievances which our constituents may bring us"? That is all we are asking.

    Of their nature, the first two Clauses can operate only for four years. Is it unreasonable that we should ask for four opportunities during that period, when we discuss the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill, to raise grievances and call upon the Minister for an account of the way in which he is operating this invasion of civil liberty? It may be necessary, but it is none the less an invasion of liberty. I submit that that is a reasonable thing to ask, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will be able to say that between now and Report he will consider the matter and put down a Clause which will include in the Expiring Laws Continuance Bill at least those two Clauses which are, of their very nature, temporary provisions, but which affect civil liberty.

    I have listened very carefully to the debate, from the moving of the new Clause. In spite of the fact that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Mr. V. Yates) thinks that I have pre-judged the issue, I certainly wanted to collect the voices of the Committee. I admit that I started with certain pre-determined views, having thought over the matter very carefully. The Committee may agree, as a matter of principle, that it is not a good legislative practice to have more laws dependent upon annual review than is absolutely necessary. Apart from anything else, it takes up the time of Parliament, which is already grossly overcrowded.

    It seems to me that the responsibility of Parliament is to judge whether a piece of legislation is good or bad. If it is bad it must be turned out, but if it is not bad, and is deemed to be necessary, I do not believe that, as a general principle, it is a good idea to say that because things may change every year, the legislation concerned should come before Parliament so that hon. Members can scrutinise the way in which the Gov ernment are carrying out that legislation. Every hon. Member knows that there are ample opportunities for a Minister to be called to order. There are all sorts of Parliamentary checks and balances. As a matter of principle, therefore, I cannot agree that because this is a piece of contentious legislation, if it passes through all its stages there is any requirement for its being brought back to Parliament for annual review.

    The only justification for making legislation subject to annual review is in order that Parliament can decide whether the requirements which led up to that legislation still exist—that is fair—and can protect those who are affected by the Measure. Let us apply those tests to the various Clauses.

    10.0 p.m.

    The hon. Member for Islington, East (Mr. Fletcher) spoke of this as a temporary expedient, or measure, or something of that sort. I have never said that it was a temporary expedient. The requirements of Clause 1 are because of an existing problem. The requirements of Clause 2 are not so temporary. They stretch into the distance and as far as the time when there are no part-time National Service men. Clause 3, in my view—I take it that the hon. Member has also agreed—may well go on for ever and a day. It is for Parliament to decide that in the future. But it would be wrong to consider this as a temporary expedient.

    As I said during the Second Reading debate, the reason far Clause 1 is the requirement for trained men in order to maintain B.A.O.R. roughly at its present level for the foreseeable future. There might have been more point in this Motion and the proposed new Clause if the Bill had been passed through Parliament before Christmas. But, as it is now, a review in 12 months from the time when the Bill becomes law, would fall at a time when the provisions in Clause 1 will largely have ceased to have any practical effect. So the idea of bringing the thing back for scrutiny in a year's time is not all that necessary from the point of view of Clause 1. It would be well after the time that the men who had been retained would have started to flow out of the Army.

    With regard to Clause 2, I have told the Committee that it is unlikely that we shall have to consider recalling any part-time National Service men until the last retained National Service man has left—in effect, not before 1963. But if this Clause is to have any effect, we must know continuously in advance that we can call on these reservists were tension suddenly to mount, and while the Regular Army strength for 1963 was still near its minimum target. There would therefore be no way in which Parliament could better judge the requirements for this at the end of 1962 and the beginning of 1963 than at the present moment.

    There is always the danger, which in my position I must guard against, that when looking at things again at the end of 1962 we might find that the tension had temporarily eased. But that would be no good reason for terminating powers under the Bill, because no one can know for certain then, any more than now, what the future holds. Incidentally, the powers of retention and recall under Clauses 1 and 2 are self-eliminating, without bringing them back to Parliament. Hon. Members have recognised that in their speeches. The powers in respect of retention will expire six months after the last National Service man completes his two years' liability for service. Those in respect of recall will, with certain minor exceptions, expire in 1966.

    I now come to Clause 3. The Committee would agree that as the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve is designed for a long term period, and as it will be a voluntary force, there is no need whatever for the members of this volunteer reserve to be protected by an annual Parliamentary Review. Those are the reasons advanced for the new Clause. The right hon. Member for Bassetlaw (Mr. Bellenger) said that I had the power by the stroke of my pen, to call up about 60,000 men. I think that the right hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Ede) also felt that that was so. I must correct the right hon. Gentlemen and put this matter into its proper perspective. I have no power, by the stroke of a pen, to call up all those people without a Proclamation, except in certain circumstances. This is one of the major reasons for the Bill. The only people whom I would have the power to call up by the stroke of a pen would be the 15,000 people in the "Ever-readies" because—this is very important—the other two bodies of pre-proclamation reserves making up the 60,000 are voluntary reserves who have volunteered either to be in the A.E.R.1 or for the Regular Army. They volunteered under the express understanding that they would be recalled only in the case of
    "imminent national danger or great emergency."
    That may be interpreted as, had we wanted to call up some reservists without a Proclamation last August, we should have had to be quite sure that the situation could have been interpreted as being an imminent national danger or great emergency, before the Secretary of State and the Government would have had the right to call up those men, without being in danger of a breach of the contract under which these people volunteered and are liable to be recalled.

    The whole purpose of this new reserve is that they will come in with their eyes open, knowing that for the bounty they get, if the Government of the day believes that tension has increased to a stage at which they have to stop it by the deterrent of more manpower, these men can be called up. I do not want the Committee to take an exaggerated view of the number of reserves which can be called up.

    Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the Committee whom he can call up? Does it mean that he wants only "Ever-readies" called up?

    Mr. Profumo