Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - FCA Strength.

165.

andMr. Timmins asked the Minister for Defence if there are any proposals for increasing the strength of the FCA; and, if so, what total membership figure is contemplated.

Recruitment to An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil is a continuing process and special measures to stimulate the normal flow of recruits are not at present proposed.

166.

asked the Minister for Defence the number of men in the FCA on 1st February, 1971, and 1st October, 1971.

The effective strength of An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil on 1st February, 1971, was 16,984 and on 1st October, 1971, 18,917.

Is the Minister aware that his Parliamentary Secretary said here that the strength of the FCA on 1st January, 1971 was 20,000? It is 16,000 now. Can the Minister give any reason for the drop of 4,000?

I think the Minister said that was the effective strength which is a different thing.

No, it is not. Can the Minister give any reason for the drop of 4,000?

It is the effective strength. There is a continuous fluctuation in the strength of the FCA from month to month.