asked the Home Secretary whether he will state the reason for the Regulation which lays it down that fire guards unable to see without spectacles must carry their gas-masks when on duty, in view of the fact that it is not proposed to issue such men with civilian duty respirators?
I do not know to what Regulation about fire guards my hon. Friend refers. It is recognised that it would be difficult for persons who are incapacitated without spectacles to continue to do active work in a civilian respirator, but I am afraid that with present shortage of rubber it is not possible to authorise the issue of civilian duty respirators to fire guards.
I will consider that, but the supply position is difficult, especially in the element of rubber. Moreover, we are giving assistance on a fairly large scale to other parts of the Empire.