HC Deb 04 July 1918 vol 107 cc1830-1

asked the Home Secretary whether, as the result of his further conference with the Ministry of National Service on the subject of retaining existing members of the fire brigades in their present employment when they are Grade 2 men under the new Military Service Act, he can now state the decision arrived at; and, if not, whether he considers that the tribunals should defer calling such men to the Army by adjourning their appeals until a definite policy can be announced?

80. Captain CARR-GOMM

asked the Minister of National Service whether the information collected by the Home Office as to the importance of retaining the remaining men in the fire brigades of the country has been placed before him; and whether he has now agreed with the Home Office that Grade 2 men under the new Military Service Act are to be exempted from military service subject to proof being adduced that they are essential to the efficiency of their respective fire brigades?


My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to these questions. The Ministry of National Service is working in close co-operation with the Home Office as regards the recruitment of men in fire brigades. At the present time certain men wholly employed in public fire brigades, including all men of the new military ages, continue to receive the protection heretofore given by the list of certified occupations under the heading of public utility services. As regards volunteer fire brigades, it has been found necessary to examine each case on its merits, and no general arrangement has been arrived at; but, pending a decision, care will be taken to secure by administrative action that the necessary efficiency of these brigades shall not be impaired.


Can the hon. Gentleman indicate that while these inquiries are being made these members of fire brigades, now reduced to very small numbers, will not be called up?


I will represent that view.