asked the Minister of Labour what remuneration and allowances are to be paid to special officers appointed to act under Sir Herbert Morgan regionally in stimulating and coordinating the work of the local National Service Committees; what are the ages of the special officers; and what public or other services have they rendered?
These special officers who will act under Sir Herbert Morgan have undertaken to give their services temporarily for a period of from six to eight weeks. One of these officers is in general charge and is being paid 150 guineas; the others will receive amounts in no case exceeding 60 guineas with the exception of four who are giving their services free. In all cases travelling and subsistence allowances will be paid on the usual scale. I have no precise information as to their ages; they have been selected on the ground of special experience and qualifications for the work allotted to them.
Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that this will have a very bad effect on the thousands of people who are giving their services voluntarily throughout the country, and is it not also a fact that some of these officers have come from the universities and have no experience of this work?
I should greatly regret if it the House accepted that statement. These people are chosen because of their very special ability and knowledge, and the House will wish the greatest possible experience and knowledge to be brought to bear on this problem, so that the enrolment may be, as it is being, a great and resounding success. Perhaps the House will be interested to know that the latest figure for applications, up to last Saturday, was 480,000.
Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that these people can have no experience in this particular work? Moreover, he has not answered my question as to the effect which this has on all those people, humble people and business people, who give their services voluntarily?
Having been in the districts last week-end, I know that the expert assistance rendered by these gentlemen is most highly appreciated by the local committees, which welcome their expert advice.
The scheme for nursing auxiliaries is under the control of the Central Emergency Committee, which I have set up for the nursing profession. It is contemplated that the auxiliaries will be renumerated for whole-time service in war on the same basis as other volunteers and I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of the reply which was given by my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal on the 16th February to a question on this subject by my hon. Friend the Member for South Nottingham (Mr. Markham).
The voluntary offers which are being made to accommodate unaccompanied school children are, in the view of the Government one of the most valuable forms of national service. Where a householder has undertaken this form of national service and in addition desires to undertake some other form of national service which would involve absence from home for longer or shorter periods, arrangements would naturally be made by the householder and by the authorities to bring the various periods of service into co-relation.