Ambulance Service.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 20th July 1939.

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Photo of Mr Joseph Hepworth Mr Joseph Hepworth , Bradford East

asked the Minister of Labour what special steps are being taken to meet the shortage of 100,000 volunteer ambulance drivers and attendants; and whether there is any reason for the public failure to respond to requirements?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

The recruitment of volunteers for the ambulance service is the responsibility of the local authorities, and special efforts have been, and are being, made by many of the authorities to obtain the number of volunteers required in their areas. My right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal informs me that authorities have recently been advised that men may be more largely recruited as ambulance drivers, and the upper age limit formerly in force has been waived. It is hoped that these steps will help to improve the position. I am not aware of any specific reason for this shortage, but my right hon. Friend is examining the matter to see whether there are any difficulties in the way of recruitment to this service which it lies in his power to remove.

Photo of Mr John Cartland Mr John Cartland , Birmingham King's Norton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is some complaint that the examination for stretcher bearers, which is very strict indeed, is really too strict for many of the men to undergo it?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I cannot give an opinion about that, but I will inform my right hon. Friend of the question.

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

Does the right hon. Gentleman accept responsibility for these figures, and will he give proper publicity to the vast numbers of people who are giving voluntary service, at heavy expense, throughout the country?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

This is not my responsibility. No doubt the many new developments of recent months make it difficult for hon. Members to know to which particular Minister a question should be addressed. I have done my best to answer.

Photo of Mr Joseph Hepworth Mr Joseph Hepworth , Bradford East

asked the Minister of Health the names of those local authorities who, though required to submit ambulance schemes for his approval, have not done so hitherto?

Photo of Mr Walter Elliot Mr Walter Elliot , Glasgow Kelvingrove

I will circulate in the Official Report a list of 15 county councils and 11 county borough and borough councils which have not yet formally submitted schemes.

Following is the list

County Councils.



Ely, Isle of.



Lincoln (Lindsey).




Peterborough, Soke of.





York, East Riding.

County Borough and Borough Councils.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and

Poole Joint Committee.


Great Yarmouth.








West Hartlepool.