Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Territorial and Auxiliary Forces Association have said for some time now that the bounty should be increased in order to attract more men into this very important branch of the Service, and does he recognise that while the £9 and £13 bounty was sufficient some time ago, when prices were lower, it is now totally inadequate because prices have risen? Will not he make an attempt to attract more men into this Service by raising the bounty?
The number of volunteers into the Territorial Army last year increased by 20,000. The problem, as I see it, is to induce men to remain in the Territorial Army after they have completed their part-time service, and that is the problem to which I am now devoting my attention.
The right hon. Gentleman is quite correct in saying that 20,000 more men enrolled; but many left, and they left because the conditions were not attractive enough. In the interests of the Service, is it not desirable to consider raising the bounty? Would not the right hon. Gentleman approach his right hon. Friend the Chancellor to ascertain his views on the subject?
I am always ready to approach the Chancellor on these matters, but in this instance the problem has not yet arisen. These men have volunteered but have not reached the end of their three and a half years' part-time service. When they do so, that problem will arise. I am looking into a large number of factors affecting the Territorial Army which, I hope, will, induce them to remain in it for a longer period.