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.
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?
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—
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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—
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.
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.
|Division No. 59.]||AYES||[5.18 p.m.|
|Agnew, Sir Peter||Barlow, Sir John||Biggs-Davison, John|
|Aitken, W. T.||Barter, John||Bingham, R. M.|
|Allason, James||Batsford, Brian||Bishop, F. P.|
|Arbuthnot, John||Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate)||Black, Sir Cyril|
|Ashton, Sir Hubert||Bell, Ronald||Bossom, Clive|
|Atkins, Humphrey||Bennett, F. M. (Torquay)||Bourne-Arton, A.|
|Balniel, Lord||Berkeley, Humphry||Box, Donald|
|Barber, Anthony||Biffen, John||Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. J.|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Hocking, Philip N.||Proudfoot, Wilfred|
|Braine, Bernard||Holland, Philip||Pym, Francis|
|Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. Sir Walter||Hollingworth, John||Ramsden, James|
|Brown, Alan (Tottenham)||Holt, Arthur||Rawlinson, Peter|
|Browne, Percy (Torrington)||Hughes-Young, Michael||Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin|
|Bryan, Paul||Hulbert, Sir Norman||Rees-Davies, W. R.|
|Buck, Antony||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Renton, David|
|Bullard, Denys||Iremonger, T. L.||Ridley, Hon. Nicholas|
|Bullus, Wing Commander Eric||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Ridsdale, Julian|
|Butler, Rt. Hn. R. A.(Saffron Walden)||James, David||Rippon, 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, Geoffrey||Robinson, Rt Hn Sir R. (B'pool, S.)|
|Cary, Sir Robert||Kerans, Cdr. J. S.||Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)|
|Channon, H. P. G.||Kerby, Capt. Henry||Roots, William|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Kerr, Sir Hamilton||Boyle, Charles (Salford, West)|
|Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.)||Kershaw, Anthony||Sandys, Rt. Hon. Duncan|
|Clark, William (Nottingham, S.)||Kirk, Peter||Scott-Hopkins, James|
|Cleaver, Leonard||Lancaster, Col. C. G.||Seymour, Leslie|
|Cole, Norman||Leburn, Gilmour||Sharples, Richard|
|Collard, Richard||Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland)||Shaw, M.|
|Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K.||Linstead, Sir Hugh||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir Jocelyn|
|Corfield, F. V.||Litchfield, Capt. John||Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)|
|Costain, A. P.||Longbottom, Charles||Smithers, Peter|
|Craddock, Sir Beresford||Longden, Gilbert||Smyth, Brig. Sir John (Norwood)|
|Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver||Loveys, Walter H.||Soames, Rt. Hon. Christopher|
|Curran, Charles||Lucas, Sir Jocelyn||Spearman, Sir Alexander|
|Dance, James||Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh||Stevens, Geoffrey|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||MacArthur, Ian||Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)|
|du Cann, Edward||McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia||Stodart, J. A.|
|Duncan, Sir James||McMaster, Stanley R.||Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)|
|Eccles, Rt. Hon. Sir David||Macmillan, Maurice (Halifax)||Tapsell, Peter|
|Eden, John||Macpherson, 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, Douglas||Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret|
|Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn||Marten, Neil||Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)|
|Erroll, Rt. Hon. F. J.||Mathew, Robert (Honiton)||Thompson, Kenneth (Walton)|
|Fell, Anthony||Matthews, Gordon (Meriden)||Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)|
|Finlay, Graeme||Maudling, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Thornton-Kemsley, Sir Colin|
|Fisher, Nigel||Mawby, Ray||Thorpe, Jeremy|
|Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.||Tilney, John (Wavertree)|
|Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton)||Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C.||Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon|
|Freeth, Denzil||Mills, Stratton||Turner, Colin|
|Gammans, Lady||More, Jasper (Ludlow)||Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.|
|Gardner, Edward||Morgan, William||Tweedsmuir, Lady|
|Gibson-Watt, David||Morrison, John||van Straubenzee, W. R.|
|Gilmour, Sir John||Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles||Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Glover, Sir Douglas||Nicholson, Sir Godfrey||Vickers, Miss Joan|
|Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.)||Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard||Wade, Donald|
|Goodhart, Philip||Oakshott, Sir Hendrie||Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)|
|Goodhew, Victor||Orr-Ewing, C. Ian||Wakefield, Sir Wavell (St. M'lebone)|
|Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R.||Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)||Walker, Peter|
|Green, Alan||Page, Graham (Crosby)||Wall, Patrick|
|Gresham Cooke, R.||Page, John (Harrow, West)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Gurden, Harold||Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)||Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold|
|Hall, John (Wycombe)||Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)||Webster, David|
|Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough)||Peel, John||Wells, John (Maidstone)|
|Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.)||Percival, Ian||Williams, Dudley (Exeter)|
|Harris, Reader (Heston)||Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth||Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)|
|Harvie Anderson, Miss||Pike, Miss Mervyn||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Hastings, Stephen||Pilkington, Sir Richard||Wise, A. R.|
|Hay, John||Pitman, Sir James||Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick|
|Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel||Pitt, Miss Edith||Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard|
|Hendry, Forbes||Pott, Percivall||Woodhouse, C. M.|
|Hicks Beach, Maj. W.||Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch||Woollam, 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, Geoffrey||Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho|
|Hobson, John||Profumo, Rt. Hon. John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Mr. Whitelaw and Mr. McLaren|
|Ainsley, William||Brockway, A. Fenner||Davies, 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, Cyril||Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Dempsey, James|
|Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton)||Callaghan, James||Diamond, John|
|Benson, Sir George||Castle, Mrs. Barbara||Dodds, Norman|
|Blackburn, F.||Cliffe, Michael||Driberg, Tom|
|Boardman, H.||Collick, Percy||Ede, Rt. Hon. C.|
|Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W. (Leics, S. W.)||Corbet, Mrs. Freda||Edwards, Walter (Stepney)|
|Bowles, Frank||Crosland, Anthony||Evans, Albert|
|Boyden, James||Darling, George||Fernyhough, E.|
|Fitch, Alan||Kenyon, Clifford||Redhead, E. C.|
|Fletcher, Eric||Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.||Reynolds, G. W.|
|Foot, Dingle (Ipswich)||King, Dr. Horace||Rhodes, H.|
|Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale)||Lever, L. M. (Ardwick)||Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)|
|Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton)||Lipton, Marcus||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Gaitskell, Rt. Hon. Hugh||Loughlin, Charles||Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)|
|Ginsburg, David||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Ross, William|
|Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.||McCann, John||Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.|
|Gourlay, Harry||MacColl, James||Silverman, Julius (Aston)|
|Greenwood, Anthony||McInnes, James||Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)|
|Grey, Charles||McKay, 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, William||Manuel, A. C.||Stewart, Michael (Fulham)|
|Hart, Mrs. Judith||Mapp, Charles||Storehouse, John|
|Hayman, F. H.||Marsh, Richard||Strachey, Rt. Hon. John|
|Healey, Denis||Mayhew, Christopher||Strauss, Rt. Hn. G. R. (Vauxhall)|
|Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur (Rwly Regis)||Mellish, R. J.||Swain, Thomas|
|Herbison, Miss Margaret||Mendelson, J. J.||Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)|
|Hilton, A. V.||Millan, Bruce||Thornton, Ernest|
|Holman, Percy||Milne, Edward||Tomney, Frank|
|Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire)||Mitchison, G. R.||Ungoed-Thomas, Sir Lynn|
|Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)||Monslow, Walter||Wainwright, Edwin|
|Hunter, A. E.||Moody, A. S.||Warbey, William|
|Hynd, H. (Accrington)||Morris, John||Wells, Percy (Faversham)|
|Hynd, John (Attercliffe)||Moyle, Arthur||Wells, 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 Barnett||Paget, R. T.||Willey, Frederick|
|Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas||Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)||Williams, Ll. (Abertillery)|
|Jeger, George||Pargiter, G. A.||Yates, Victor (Ladywood)|
|Jenkins, Roy (Stechford)||Pavitt, Laurence||Zilliacus, K.|
|Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.)||Peart, Frederick|
|Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech(Wakefield)||Plummer, Sir Leslie||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Jones, Dan (Burnley)||Probert, Arthur||Mr. G. H. R. Rogers and|
|Jones, Elwyn (West Ham, S.)||Randall, Harry||Mr. Lawson.|
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.
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.
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.
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—
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.