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.
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?
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?