Army Emergency Reserve

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd July 1952.

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Photo of Mr Evelyn Strachey Mr Evelyn Strachey , Dundee West 12:00 am, 22nd July 1952

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of its present functions, composition and importance, he is satisfied with recruiting for the Army Supplementary Reserve.

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

No, Sir. The total requirement for the Supplementary Reserve is about 140,000 all ranks. Of this number we require some 38,500 volunteers. Up to date we have got only 7,500 volunteers. The volunteers play a vital part in this most important Reserve.

I believe that the failure in recruiting is largely due to the fact that little is known about these most important units which provide the great majority of technical and specialist reserve units to complete the Regular and Territorial Armies on mobilization. I have taken steps to increase publicity and thus, I hope, recruiting. I think that the title "Supplementary Reserve" is neither descriptive nor inspiring, and we have decided to call this most important section of the Army the Army Emergency Reserve. I very much hope that with the aid of increased publicity, and I hope the full support of employers in industry, more volunteers will be forthcoming in the future.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Strachey Mr Evelyn Strachey , Dundee West

Would not the Secretary of State think that the best name for this force is "Technical Units of the Reserve or Territorial Army," which in fact is what it is? We appreciate the fact that he is changing the name from the old one, but I feel doubts about the new name.

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

I thought of the terms "technical unit" and "specialist unit" we have thought a lot about this. Although the majority are technical units, some are not, and I felt that such an embracing term would be somewhat ridiculous when applied to a very small proportion of these units.

Photo of Mr George Wigg Mr George Wigg , Dudley

How many meetings of the Army Council were held before it was decided that the title "Army Emergency Reserve" was more inspiring than "Army Supplementary Reserve"?

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

There were no meetings of the Army Council and this was settled within three days.

Photo of Mr Richard Stokes Mr Richard Stokes , Ipswich

When is a unit not a technical unit?

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

In Army parlance an infantry battalion, for example, is not technical.