§ 47. Mr. Beswick
asked the Secretary of State for War if he will now review the policy under which National Service men with 12 weeks' basic training are posted for duty in Cyprus.
§ The Secretary of State for War (Mr. Antony Head)
I am satisfied with the present system, which has been substantially unchanged since 1947 and proved itself adequate by experience and results.
§ Mr. Beswick
But is the Secretary of State aware that the Home Secretary has told the House that he will not allow a policeman to go on duty in the streets of London until he has had at least 19 weeks' training? In view of the fact that the young lads going out to Cyprus are on duty whenever they go on the street, does the right hon. Gentleman not think that in this kind of warfare there ought to be more training than is given to these young men?
§ Mr. Head
It is not for me to try to compare the relative duties of the police and the Army in this respect, but I would point out that these men are within units under the command of an N.C.O., that this system has been carefully gone into, both from the point of view of length of period of the National Service and the training required, and I believe that it works.