asked the Secretary of State for War (1) whether his attention has been called to the action of the Wembley Borough Council in refusing to allow their officers and staff to join the Home Guard on the grounds that in the event of invasion they will require their staff for other purposes; and whether, in view of the doubts which exist in this respect, he will issue a statement indicating to what extent in the event of invasion Home Guards will be at the disposal of the military authorities as opposed to their own employers;
(2) whether he is aware that many persons are not joining the Home Guard because, under present conditions, subsequent voluntary withdrawal is not permitted; and whether he will give an assurance that if in the event of any emergency the civil work of the Home Guards is, in the opinion of their employer, more important than Home Guard activities they will without doubt be permitted to continue the former?
I have seen reports in the Press of the action of the Wembley Borough Council to which my hon. Friend refers. Arrangements have already been made for the division of the Home Guard into two categories, of which the first comprises men who will be immediately available on mustering, and the second those who, owing to the essential nature of their present work, will be required to go on with it till the last possible moment. In doubtful cases employers are consulted.
asked the Secretary of State for War under what circumstances does a member of the Home Guard qualify for compensation when he is incapacitated from duty owing to an accident to him on his way to take up guard duty; and whether his attention has been drawn to the case of John Beadle, a member of the Home Guard at Richmond, who received an injury which kept him off duty for months and to whom no compensation has been paid; and will he have inquiries made with a view to justice being done to this man?
Disablement allowances are paid to incapacitated members of the Home Guard if their disablement is attributable to their Home Guard service. An injury received by a man on his way to or from duty is not held to be attributable to his service except in special circumstances. I am prepared to consider whether there were any special circumstances in Mr. Beedle's case which would make him eligible for an allowance.