Oral Answers to Questions — Civilian Watchmen.

– in the House of Commons on 17th February 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Mr. De la Bère:

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is in a position to make some statement regarding the employment of civilian defence guards by institutions and organisations throughout the country, having regard to the present practice of employing, at a weekly wage, these defence guards with a stipulation that they should immediately be enrolled as members of the Home Guard; and whether he has considered the obligation thus placed on these men, since this practice makes them paid weekly members of the Home Guard?

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

I am aware that certain firms and other undertakings employ paid civilian watchmen for the protection of some of their installations which have been scheduled as vulnerable points. It has been agreed some time ago that these watchmen although following a civil employment, should be ercouraged to enrol in the Home Guard, in order that they may be properly organised and entitled to be supplied with arms. They are not, however, paid from Army Funds, or entitled to claim Home Guard subsistence allowances while on paid duty for their employers, and I cannot therefore agree that this arrangement amounts to making these men paid members of the Home Guard.

Mr. De la Bère:

Does not my right hon. and gallant Friend realise that it is rather involved, and that in some vises it does amount almost to a subterfuge to suggest that they are not getting a weekly wage? You cannot tell when a man is in the Home Guard and when he is not. The whole thing is very involved.

Photo of Mr David Margesson Mr David Margesson , Rugby

I thought my answer was pellucidly clear.