§ 118. Mr. Peter Freeman
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that young men, under 19 years of age, of the Welch Regiment, who were only called up for training on 6th September this year in Wales, details of which have been sent him, are under orders to leave overseas for Hong Kong and thence to Korea on Christmas Eve; if he will renew the assurance previously given by a former Minister that no young man under 19 years of age would be sent on active service abroad; and what action he proposes to take in the matter.
§ 124. Mr. G. Longden
asked the Secretary of State for War if he will consider revising the decision of the late Government that service personnel who are under 21 years of age shall be sent to a combat area.
§ Mr. Head
The minimum ages at which a soldier may be sent abroad are236W at the present time 19 years for Korea; 18 years for the continent of Europe except Greece, Malta and Gibraltar; and 18 years 3 months for all other overseas theatres. The needs of the Army are such today that I see no possibility of raising these age limits.
It has been the practice for some months to send soldiers who are over 18 years 3 months but under 19 years of age to Hong Kong for further training before they are drafted to Korea. No soldier, however, is allowed to embark from Hong Kong for Korea until he is at least 19 years old.