Home Guard.

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 23rd June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Walter Higgs Mr Walter Higgs , Birmingham West

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that Home Guard training of farm workers is seriously interfering with work on the land at the present time; that the position will become more serious now that hay harvest is in full swing; and will he order the training to be relaxed until after corn harvest.

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

I am not aware of the interference to which my hon. Friend refers. With regard to the last part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Evesham (Mr. De la Bère) on 18th June.

Photo of Mr Walter Higgs Mr Walter Higgs , Birmingham West

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have seen the reply to which he has referred me? Will he inform the House when these instructions were issued to Home Guard officers, because I have seen threatening letters on the subject?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

To the best of my recollection it was at the end of March or early in April.

Photo of Mr Walter Higgs Mr Walter Higgs , Birmingham West

asked the Secretary of State of War whether he is aware that civilian employees of the War Department, either temporary or permanent, who are members of the Home Guard, and industrialists and non-industrialists who are ordered to muster as members of the Home Guard, are eligible to receive their civilian pay after muster for a period of six weeks, and that instructions to cover any further period will be issued if necessary; and will he inform the House if any instructions are to be issued with regard to members of the Home Guard who are employed in civil, industrial and non-industrial undertakings?

Photo of Sir James Grigg Sir James Grigg , Cardiff East

The instruction to which my hon. Friend refers is not confined to civilian employees of the War Department, but applies to civilian employees of Government Departments generally. I hope that other public bodies and private employers who have in their employ civilians, salaried or otherwise, who are members of the Home Guard, will also do their best to see that their salaries or wages continue unaffected, at any rate for a period, after mustering. For those who do lose wages owing to being mustered with the Home Guard, compensation will be admissible within certain limits.