asked the Home Secretary what progress has been made in arranging for part-time war work for firemen and Civil Defence workers who are only standing by for many hours each day and would gladly undertake some munition or other work to assist the war effort; what is the total number of full-time firemen and Civil Defence workers, respectively; and how many have so far been released for urgently needed munition work?
asked the Home Secretary how many men and women in full-time employment on Civil Defence have been released for other work of national importance since the issue of the Ministry's circular to local authorities in April, 1942; how many men of the National Fire Service have been similarly released; and how many men and women have been released for industry on the rota system?
I would refer my hon. Friends to the statement which I made on this subject during the course of the Debate last Thursday. I deprecate the publication of figures giving the strength of Civil Defence services but considerable numbers have been, and are being, released for other vital work.
Does my right hon. Friend realise that the men themselves are very anxious to do useful but simple munition work in their spare time instead of playing darts or games of that kind, which are as irksome to them as they are not useful to the public?
It would be a mistake if my hon. Friend assumed that the Fire Service were not doing a good job and do not have a good deal of active work to do in the course of their duty hours. On the other point I am entirely sympathetic, as I made clear in the Debate last Thursday, but it must be arranged by the appropriate authority.