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Lord Renton: My Lords, before my noble friend leaves that point, will he deal with the point made by the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig of Radley? In view of what my noble friend said earlier, it would seem that that point has been overtaken except that my noble friend said that there would be cases involving humanitarian relief when men would be called out not for nine months but for six months. Let us suppose, as the noble and gallant Lord, Lord Craig, said, it ceases to be a humanitarian matter but becomes an operational matter. Will it then be possible for that period of six months to be extended?

Earl Howe: My Lords, I believe that I covered that point earlier. I certainly endeavoured to do so. I mentioned that under Clause 61 there is a power which would allow individuals to be treated as if they had been called out under a different power should the circumstances of the deployment change. The point I emphasised was that that would not worsen their position were those circumstances to occur because they could be released from service under one power and then immediately called out again under the new power. That is how it would work. I believe that that answers the point that was raised.

There is more I could say about the damaging impact of the six-month limit that would be imposed by the amendment. I believe that the Government's proposals carry wide support within the services, within reserve forces particularly and within the TAVRAs. I hope I have now said sufficient to persuade the noble and gallant Lord and the noble Lord, Lord Williams, not to press the amendment.

Lord Bramall: My Lords, I am most grateful for the thorough and articulate reply that the noble Earl has given on this very important subject. I am glad that we have had a good debate on the amendment. There are two sides to the argument, as the noble Lord, Lord Vivian, has made abundantly clear, including giving me a lecture on man management, which he is perfectly entitled to do.

I do not want the Government to be over-optimistic about the relish that employers and employees will have in the future about compulsory call up. As the noble Lord, Lord Callaghan, said, I do not think they should underestimate the position, particularly in the medical services, where I think the National Health Service will have strong views about letting their surgeons and anaesthetists go out to humanitarian operations overseas for too long when they have plenty of humanitarian operations to do back in their own country. I hope that the Government will be conscious of not compulsorily calling out these people for any longer than is necessary. The noble Earl gave an assurance that he had that very much in mind and that in the normal course of events six months overseas would be the maximum, the rest being taken up with some sort of mobilisation procedures.

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I believe that the penny has dropped on this point. But if it has not dropped there could be considerable trouble ahead. The Government have taken great steps to consult inside the services, with the TAVRAs and with the regimental colonels. They have done a very good job in that. In view of the consultation that has taken place and in view of the Minister's assurance that he is conscious that it would be wrong to give the impression that volunteers or reservists would always be called up for more than six months, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 58 [Call-out notices]:

Lord Williams of Elvel moved Amendment No. 24:


Page 33, line 34, leave out subsection (7) and insert--
("( ) Notices under this section may be served on a person by delivering it to him or by leaving it at, or sending it by post to, his last known address; and any call-out or variation notice delivered to that address by registered post or recorded delivery shall be deemed to have been served on him.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, we have spoken to Amendments Nos. 24 to 28. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 65 [Liability to recall]:

Lord Williams of Elvel moved Amendment No. 25:


Page 36, line 37, leave out from ("service") to end of line 39 and insert ("under a recall order shall not be reckoned in any numbers for the time being authorised by Parliament for any of the regular services").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 68 [Recall for national danger, great emergency or attack on the UK]:

Lord Williams of Elvel moved Amendment No. 26:


Page 39, line 10, after ("to") insert ("each House of").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 69 [Maximum duration of service on recall]:

Lord Williams of Elvel moved Amendment No. 27:


Page 40, line 9, after ("to") insert ("each House of").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 70 [Recall notices]:

Lord Williams of Elvel moved Amendment No. 28:


Page 41, line 5, leave out subsection (7) and insert--
("( ) Notices under this section may be served on a person by delivering it to him or by leaving it at, or sending it by post to, his last known address; and any recall or variation notice delivered to that address by registered post or recorded delivery shall be deemed to have been served on him.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 72 [Period of service and release]:

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 29:


Page 42, line 2, leave out (" 68(7)") and insert (" 68(8)").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, I spoke to this amendment with Amendment No. 9. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 30:


After Clause 75, insert the following new clause--

Recall not to affect service pensions

(". Where a person to or in respect of whom a service pension is payable has been accepted into service under a recall order--
(a) any pay or other emoluments to which he is entitled in respect of his service on recall shall not be reduced by reason of the service pension;
(b) the service pension shall not be withheld or reduced by reason of any such pay or emoluments.").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, in the light of the Committee debate on pensions, I reviewed the provisions in the Bill. One particular provision of the Reserve Forces Act 1980 had not been carried forward into the Bill. It concerns those in receipt of a service pension who would be, as former regulars, liable to recall into service under Part VII of the Bill. The usual Treasury rule is that when an individual in receipt of a public service pension is re-employed in a similar capacity that pension should be stopped or abated. Section 31(5) of the 1980 Act gives statutory exemption from that rule to service pensioners recalled to service in an emergency. This amendment replicates that protection for those liable to recall under Part VII. They will not all be service pensioners but a proportion will be. This is a very straightforward point. I commend the amendment to the House. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 76 [Interpretation of Part VII]:

Lord Williams of Elvel moved Amendment No. 31:


Page 43, line 45, after ("before") insert ("each House of").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have already spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 80 [Regulations under sections 77 and 78: supplementary]:

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 32:


Page 47, line 8, leave out (" 69(7)") and insert (" 69(6)").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, I spoke to this amendment with Amendment No. 9. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 85 [Power to suspend payments due to national danger or great emergency]:

Lord Williams of Elvel moved Amendment No. 33:


Page 50, line 5, after ("before") insert ("each House of").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I have already spoken to this amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 97 [Punishment etc. of offences of desertion or absence without leave]:

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 34:


Page 54, line 40, after ("of") insert ("desertion or").

The noble Earl said: My Lords, in moving this amendment it may be for the convenience of the House if I speak also to Amendment No. 35. These two minor amendments correct the references to "desertion" in Clause 97. The words "desertion or" are, from the

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construction of the subsection, clearly missing from Clause 97(2). Clause 96(2) creates an offence of absence without leave. The reference to that subsection in Clause 97(4) means that the words "desertion or" should be removed. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Earl Howe moved Amendment No. 35:


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