Home Defence Force

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd February 1966.

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Photo of Mr Enoch Powell Mr Enoch Powell , Wolverhampton South West 12:00 am, 2nd February 1966

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we on this side will wish at an early stage to debate these proposals, which are some improvement on the previous ones which we had before us but are by no means good enough yet, and that that is a quite separate matter from the debates which will ensue in the general defence framework?

Meanwhile, may I put two points to the Minister? First, does he realise that by insisting upon divorcing this Home Defence Force from the Army Volunteer Reserve he is prejudicing the likelihood of being able to recruit either or the success of either in the rôles assigned to them and that this is an entirely perverse approach?

Secondly, now that the Government have realised that one of the assumptions on which their proposals were based—namely, that there was no home defence rôle for the Territorial Army—was ill-founded, will they realise that many of the other assumptions were ill-founded, too, and reconsider the whole of their idea of virtually destroying the existing Territorial Army?