Home Guard.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 3rd March 1942.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr District of Burghs

asked the Under-secretary of State for War whether he will make it clear that personnel of the Home Guard travelling from their homes to instructional parades, exercises or other military duties may do so at the public expense?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

The conditions under which members of the Home Guard may travel at the public expense are at present under review, and I hope to make an announcement shortly.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore Lieut-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore , Ayr District of Burghs

In considering this matter, will the War Office bear in mind that the efficiency of the Home Guard and therefore the protection of this country, is greatly menaced, if these essential expenses are not refunded or permitted by the Treasury?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

As I explained, these expenses are being reviewed.

Photo of Mr William Leach Mr William Leach , Bradford Central

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that local authorities are being circularised on the subject of the division of the Home Guard into classes by memoranda, or letters to the same effect, by the Ministry of Health (2564), the Board of Education (351), the Board of Trade (I.M.3. 3163/42), the Electricity Commission (A. 950/394/112K.) and the Central National Registration Office (N.R. 137); and will he take steps to stop this, and save both Government and municipal time, labour and paper by the issue of one single co-ordinating circular on all future similar occasions?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

These circulars were issued to meet points as they arose. I agree with my hon. Friend that instructions from more than one Department on the same subject should whenever possible be correlated in a single circular. He will, however, appreciate that in certain cases owing to the urgency of the matter the delay necessarily involved cannot be accepted.

Photo of Mr William Leach Mr William Leach , Bradford Central

Is my hon. Friend aware that all those circulars were practically identical in the advice and instructions they gave, although the wording may have differed?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

Yes, Sir, but in view of the time limit before which Home Guards had the option to resign, the matter was urgent.

Photo of Mr Ian Hannah Mr Ian Hannah , Wolverhampton Bilston

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in doubtful cases of exemption from service in the Armed Forces of the Crown, effective membership of the Home Guard is taken into account?

Photo of Mr George Tomlinson Mr George Tomlinson , Farnworth

I would refer my hon. Friend to the Reply given on 4th February to the hon. Member for Bournemouth (Sir L. Lyle).