§ 17. Mr. Chetwynd
asked the Secretary of State for War to give an estimate of the number of Regular soldiers required to enable compulsory service to be abolished and to reduce the period of National Service by six months.
§ Mr. Chetwynd
Does he right hon. Gentleman not think it more desirable now that he should refer to his previous argument and try and get those people rather than insist that this two-year period is essential?
§ Mr. Shinwell
Cannot the right hon. Gentleman remember what he said when he was on this side of the House, namely, that if we were to step up Regular recruitment, six months compulsory service would be adequate? Why does he not 219 do precisely what he asked the Labour Government to do, that is increase the rate of pay?
§ Mr. Head
The answer to that is very simple. When I made those remarks it was before Korea, when our overseas commitments were very small. Secondly, I would remind hon. Members that right hon. Gentlemen opposite deferred putting up the pay until it was two years too late. Had they done it earlier they would have avoided a big run-out.