Does that mean that the percentage of applicants accepted is going up; and does my right hon. Friend consider that by the end of the year he will have made up the present shortage in the armed forces?
The answer to the first half of the supplementary question is that the percentage of applicants has, I am glad to say, gone up. With regard to the future, I would not be so indiscreet as to be precise, but more and more men are enlisting every week as compared with last year.
Will my right hon. Friend consider giving some further inducements in order to get the larger number of recruits which is still necessary in order to make up the shortage this year? Does he think he will reach the number of 54,000 recruits required this year to complete the establishment?
I could not say without notice, but I do not admit that the standard has been lowered. It has been revised in accordance with common sense, but that revision is not in itself responsible for the increase, which is a substantive increase.
Does this number given by the right hon. Gentleman include the older men, who would not formerly have been accepted, and married men, as well as men with less qualifications as regards hearing and sight?