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Central Advisory Council (Communists)

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 October 1950

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4.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he takes to prevent the appointment of persons with known Communist associations to the Central Fire Brigades Advisory Council whose duty it is to formulate fire protection policy for the whole country.

6.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to ensure that no known Communists form part of the Central Fire Brigades Committee; and how many known Communists are at present sitting on that Committee.

As required by Section 29 of the Fire Services Act, 1947, I appoint to this Council men and women with the requisite qualifications. Having regard to the functions of the Council as defined in that Section, I have not thought it necessary, when considering nominations from the various representative bodies, to take into account their political sympathies and associations. I understand that the present members include two known Communists.

that in the years 1947 and 1948 there were considerable increases in the total number of offences of these kinds known to the police and that, though in 1949 this trend was checked, the provisional figures for the first half of 1950 suggest that it has resumed. Many and various opinions have been expressed as to the reasons for the increase in the number of these offences but I do not think that the causes have been so clearly established as to permit a forecast of the future course of the figures to be made.