National Fire Service.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 21st May 1942.

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Photo of Sir Jocelyn Lucas Sir Jocelyn Lucas , Portsmouth South

asked the Home Secretary whether he will give an assurance that, in sending National Fire Service representatives to India and elsewhere for training and administrative purposes, the greatest care for their selection for such responsible tasks will be taken; and whether he has, or will, issue instructions accordingly?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Yes, Sir; the utmost care is and will continue to be exercised in making such selections.

Photo of Sir Jocelyn Lucas Sir Jocelyn Lucas , Portsmouth South

While thanking my right hon. Friend for his answer, may I ask whether he is aware that, out of four successful candidates in one area, two were officers who had been demoted, one twice, and one had failed to qualify? Will he make these facts the basis of inquiry in order that there should not be in the N.F.S. the Army practice of getting rid in this way of undesirable and inefficient personnel?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

The last point put by the hon. and gallant Member is unfair and untrue in its implication. If there are any cases of the selection of inefficient personnel, I shall be glad to look into them. Naturally, we have to take a number of factors into account.

Photo of Sir Stanley Reed Sir Stanley Reed , Aylesbury

Will the Minister give consideration, in regard to Indians, to the fact that the best is only just good enough, because these men are subject to very strict scrutiny, and their reputation depends very much upon whether they do their duty or not?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I am keeping that point in mind. I am naturally anxious to give what help I can to India, but I must consider the needs of this country too.

Photo of Sir Jocelyn Lucas Sir Jocelyn Lucas , Portsmouth South

If I give names to the right hon. Gentleman, will he make inquiry?