Captain A. Evans:
asked the Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence what method of co-ordination is in force to ensure that in appealing for volunteer man-power the Defence Departments operate on a carefully considered and agreed policy; and whether, in view of the necessity of the Regular and Territorial Army and Air Forces being brought up to the required strength in the shortest possible time, he will state what steps are taken to prevent civil authorities in general, and police authorities in particular, encouraging the enlistment of men for war-time services who are of military age and medically fit, and who would otherwise be available and required for the active Fighting Forces of the Crown in the event of hostilities, and especially at rates of pay over three times in excess of Territorials employed in anti-aircraft Defence?
The co-ordination of the needs of the Defence Departments is undertaken by a Sub-Committee of the Committee of Imperial Defence on which the Defence Departments and the Home Office are represented. Firms are advised as to the enlistment of skilled and key men in any of the Defence Forces, or as to their enrolment in other services of national importance. Every effort is made to secure that men of the ages which would most urgently be required for the active Defence -Forces are not accepted for duties that could be performed by older men.
Can my right hon. Friend inform me whether the representatives of the Defence Departments agreed to the appeal that was made recently by the Commissioner of Police for comparatively young men of military age and medically fit to enlist in the Special Constabularly or Special War Reserve, and in view of the urgent necessity for bringing the Territorial Army up to the required strength in the least possible time, will he not encourage men of this type to give first preference to the Territorial Army?