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Home Guard

Volume 400: debated on Tuesday 13 June 1944

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asked the Secretary of State for War, whether he is aware that members of the staff of the Glasgow telephone area of the Post Office who, from the outset, have been voluntary fireguards, have recently been directed into the Home Guard so that, after the maximum compulsory employment of women fire-guards, a considerable deficiency is created in fire-guard personnel which has to be covered in part by the local authority and largely by directed male personnel as well as several hundreds of the Home Guard in buildings not normally used for Home Guard purposes; and whether he will consider releasing such a number of Home Guards as are necessary for the adequate performance of fire-guard duties.

As regards the first part of the Question, I understand that owing to a serious deficiency in the strength of the 13th Glasgow Battalion of the Home Guard the Post Office released to the Home Guard a certain number of its fireguard personnel on condition that the 13th Battalion took over responsibility for a proportion of the fire-guard duties. With regard to the second part, I am always ready to co-operate with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Home Security to secure that as far as possible Home Guard and fire-guard duties are both adequately performed. Instructions have already been issued enabling members of the Home Guard to assist under certain conditions in fire prevention and other Civil Defence duties.