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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 17 Apr 1951

Vol. 125 No. 6

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Army Reserve.

Major de Valera

asked the Minister for Defence if he will state whether any arrangements exist (a) for maintaining the strength of the Reserve of Officers, First Line, and (b) for securing an inflow of young officers to this part of the Reserve; and, if not, whether proposals to meet this deficiency are under consideration.

(a) Officers of the forces who retire from the forces may, on their application at the time of their retirement, be appointed to the Reserve of Officers and assigned to the Reserve of Officers—First Line, provided that they are within the prescribed age limits and are not medically unfit therefor; (b) there are at present no arrangements nor are any such arrangements contemplated for the appointment from civilian status of officers to the Reserve of Officers—First Line.

Major de Valera

Is not the position then, that very few officers go to the Reserve because most officers who retire or leave the regular forces are beyond 40 years of age—most of them are up to 50 years of age—and, consequently, there is no flow into the Reserve of commissioned personnel? Is that the position?

I have no information here.

A Deputy

It is shocking waste.

Major de Valera

Is not the position that the average age of officers of the Reserve is increasing with the years?