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Home Guard

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 8 April 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for War when he proposes to start enrolling members of the Home Guard.

Would my right hon. Friend say whether from this date onwards any badge will be issued to members of the Home Guard so that they can show they have joined?

We are proposing to issue to those who are enrolled as members of the Home Guard a badge, somewhat similar to other badges, which will indicate their membership of this body.

Since the right hon. Gentleman said he must have a minimum of 125,000, and will require more, and the rate of recruiting has now dropped to less than 4,000 a month, and it is quite clear he will not obtain the number for which he has asked by any stretch of the imagination, would it not be better to abandon this foolish scheme before further time and money is wasted on it?

I am disappointed that hon. Members opposite, who, although questioning the advisability of the Home Guard, gave an undertaking that they would support it, are now doing the very reverse. Nobody could be so bold as to say there might not be a sudden war, and the existence of the Home Guard will be invaluable to the country.

As the right hon. Gentleman has only 33,000 now and has said on the Army Estimates that he will want 170,000, all he is doing therefore is wasting the enthusiasm of a few people. Does he not agree that he ought to scrap the scheme and wait until an emergency arises?

If I waited until the emergency, it would put the Territorial Army and the Regular Army in a considerable jam. The Home Guard is not being helped by people like the hon. Member, who are doing their very best to discourage it.


asked the Secretary of State for War what instructions have been issued to Home Guard units on the subject of their co-operation with the Civil Defence organisation.