asked the Home Secretary why certain air-raid precautions workers belonging to the City of Westminster air-raid precautions service, who showed their efficiency as incident officers under severe conditions during heavy raids last year, are now to be replaced in these positions by men of far less experience; and whether this down-grading is the result of failure to pass a theoretical examination?
Further training has been given in Westminster with a view to wardens qualifying for the incident officer's badge approved by the Regional Commissioners and certain wardens have been given their badges. The badges have been awarded only to those wardens who showed the necessary qualities of leadership, initiative and knowledge of the incident officer's duties. No one who displayed these qualities either during the training or during last year's air raids has been refused a badge. I understand no theoretical examination was held.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is grave dissatisfaction among Westminster wardens on the point and that his answer will not satisfy them? There is a number of wardens who showed great initiative and courage in the blitz last year who failed to pass this examination. Will the right hon. Gentleman see that "old school tie" methods are abandoned in the A.R.P. Service?