Defence (Combined Exercises).

Oral Answers to Questions — Kenya. – in the House of Commons on 8th March 1939.

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Photo of Mr Richard Porritt Mr Richard Porritt , Heywood and Radcliffe

asked the Prime Minister whether, to ensure the efficient collaboration of the Defence organisations, he will consider introducing an annual 24-hour voluntary mobilisation of the Territorial, Auxiliary, and Civilian Defence Forces of the country, not subject to the Embodiment Act?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Edgbaston

This matter has already been given full consideration and a number of exercises have already been held. It is proposed in the current year to make arrangements for exercises on a larger scale, to test the employment and co-operation of the various forces concerned in defence against air attack, including Civil Defence Forces, while practice deployments of anti-aircraft and coast defences will be held as part of normal training. For the most part, the most convenient course is for these exercises to take place at different dates and in different localities; but, in addition, the annual air exercises will provide an opportunity for a large-scale test involving not only Regular units, but the Auxiliary Air Force, the anti-aircraft units of the Territorial Army, the Observer Corps and Civil Defence units.

Photo of Mr Richard Porritt Mr Richard Porritt , Heywood and Radcliffe

Is my right hon. Friend aware that such schemes will give great encouragement to air-raid precautions wardens and also great reassurance to public opinion.