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Falkland Islands

Volume 22: debated on Thursday 22 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what he estimates to have been the effect of the invasion of the Falkland Islands on (a) applications and (b) acceptances for recruitment to the Armed Services.

Since the Falkland Islands emergency began there has been some increase in the numbers enquiring about joining the Armed Forces; but we have not recruited any more people into either the regular or reserve forces specifically in response to recent events, and the rate of acceptances remains as previously expected.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether the necessary military action will be taken to isolate the Falkland Islands entirely from the Argentine as soon as it is logistically and militarily feasible in order to reduce the potential Argentine military presence in the event of later land based hostilities on the Islands.

A maritime exclusion zone around the Falkland Islands has been in force since 0400 Greenwich mean time on Monday 12 April. I would not want to comment on any further measures we might wish to take.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what steps are being taken to keep essential personnel in the Royal Navy who would otherwise be entitled to leave the Service during the Falkland Islands operation.

[pursuant to the reply, 7 April 1982, c. 344]: So far 25 naval ratings and three Royal Marines who would otherwise have left full-time service during April and May 1982 and whose retention is required in the context of the current operations in the South Atlantic, are being retained in service under section 4 of the Armed Forces Act 1966 and schedule 7, paragraph 4A of the Army Act 1955. The appropriate report to Parliament has been made and copies are available in the Vote Office and in the Library. Further such reports will be made as necessary.