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Civil Defence (Recruitment)

Volume 495: debated on Monday 11 February 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has been made aware that recruitment for Civil Defence is hampered by the belief that persons who now volunteer and sacrifice their leisure time for the purpose of training may be liable if the emergency arises, to be directed to leave their normal employment and be compelled to give full time service in Civil Defence; and if he will now provide that encouragement to persons to volunteer that will arise from an assurance that by so doing they are not making themselves liable to a form of compulsory service.

I had not previously been made aware of the point raised in the first part of the Question. Recruitment to the Civil Defence Service is at present restricted to part-time training in peace for part-time service in war. I am very ready to give the assurance that there is no intention, in the event of any compulsory powers being needed for the provision of whole-time Civil Defence personnel in war, to discriminate against existing volunteers.