Recruitment is a matter for the individual fire authorities who have been asked that every suitable coloured applicant should be given the opportunity of joining the fire service, but so far there have been very few applications from coloured people. I understand that there are three coloured members of the London Fire Brigade, which is less than 0·1 per cent. of the strength. On 31st December, 1966, the brigade strength was 1,619 below the establishment of 6,487.
Are not these figures very disturbing? Would not my hon. Friend agree that even the most racially-prejudiced person cannot object to having his life saved by a coloured person, particularly in a cloud of smoke?