Personnel (Alternative Employment).

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 6th August 1942.

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Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

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?

Photo of Mr David Gammans Mr David Gammans , Hornsey

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?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

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.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

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?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

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.

Photo of Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson , Birmingham Handsworth

Will the right hon. Gentleman stop them from doing useless drill?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I am not aware that they are doing useless drill. Drill is necessary for the efficiency of the Fire Service.