National Fire Service

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence – in the House of Commons on 26th November 1942.

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Photo of Mrs Mavis Tate Mrs Mavis Tate , Frome

asked the Home Secretary whether he will undertake that the hours of duty in the National Fire Service shall not be increased to 48 on and 24 off, except where amenities and conditions justify the change?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Yes, Sir. I have repeatedly stated that instructions have been given that the standard duty system is not to be introduced, or, if introduced, is not to be maintained at any stations where the accommodation is seriously defective.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Is it not generally true that the people who have been working the 48 on and 24 off system prefer it and that the objection comes from those who have not tried it?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I think that that is true. Even in areas where there has been controversy the service have in a large proportion of cases come to like it after it has been experienced.

Photo of Mr Evelyn Walkden Mr Evelyn Walkden , Doncaster

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a deputation from Yorkshire came to the House and made definite statements and allegations concerning the absence of accommodation such as he has referred to?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Their remedy is perfectly simple, without coming from Yorkshire to London. Many deputations come to this House and make inaccurate observations to Members.

Photo of Miss Thelma Cazalet Miss Thelma Cazalet , Islington East

Will my right hon. Friend do his best to expedite the provision of certain amenities reaching fire stations?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I can assure my hon. Friend that I am very anxious to do that. Indeed, I have been visiting fire stations all over the country. We are in difficulties about materials and labour, but we are doing all we can. I am anxious that the men should co-operate by helping themselves to get the work done, and they are doing it.