National Fire Service

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence – in the House of Commons on 1st October 1942.

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Photo of Major Basil Peto Major Basil Peto , Birmingham King's Norton

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that full-time members of the National Fire Service are now receiving their calling-up papers for the Armed Forces; and whether this is in accordance with his declared policy of improving still further the fire-fighting efficiency of this service, in view of the possibility of renewed enemy air-raids over this country?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I assume that my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind the men who were released from the Army for fire-fighting duties during the heavy raids of 1940–41. These men are members of the Class "W" Reserve, and in existing circumstances I do not feel that I should be justified in demurring to their return to the Army: arrangements have, however, been made to retain in the National Fire Service those who occupy key positions.

Photo of Mr William Cluse Mr William Cluse , Islington South

Is there any intention of calling up ordinary members of the National Fire Service?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

There is a well understood agreement between us and the Ministry of Labour whereby they are reserved in suitable categories. There is no question of any general calling-up.