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Territorial Army Emergency Reserve (Service In Aden)

Volume 718: debated on Wednesday 3 November 1965

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve have been serving in Aden; and if he will give an assurance that all will be given two days' home leave on full pay for every month served overseas to compensate for the fact that it has been impossible to grant these men local leave on this basis in accordance with their terms of engagement.

Seven officers and 122 soldiers. The original terms of engagement for the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve did not provide for any leave, local or home. It was later proposed to grant local leave when practicable. As this was not possible in Aden, I have decided to grant six days home leave on full pay for members of the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve serving in all theatres in the present call-out.

While not suggesting that it was more than a coincidence that the Government changed their mind about both this Question and Question No. 46 the day after I put them on the Order Paper, may I ask the Minister whether he is none the less aware that it has given great pleasure to the Ever-Readies, who have done such excellent work in Aden in trying circumstances, to know that they are to get part of their bounty in addition to the leave that they were expecting, but is not he being rather parsimonious about the leave even now?

The fact of the matter is that our predecessors, in devising the scheme, made no provision for any leave at all. We are considering this matter in conjunction with a number of other lessons which have been learnt as a result of this first call-out of the Reserves and I shall take the hon. and gallant Gentleman's point into account. I would add, however, that while we like to have him on our side in these matters, the Government machine is difficult to move in 24 hours, so his Questions were not a major factor in this decision.


asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will arrange to pay all members of the Territorial Army Emergency Reserve about to return from Aden the unpaid portion of their annual bounty immediately on their return to this country in order to give them some spending money on leave.

In that case, will the Minister congratulate me on moving the Government machine so fast?