§ 19. Mr. ROWLANDS
asked the Home Secretary whether, having regard to the fact that it has been decided that Grade 2 men who are liable under the last Military Service Act and are special constables are not to be called to the Army, he is taking any and, if so, what steps to prevent similarly graded men who are members of greatly reduced fire brigades in munition and other areas from being taken into the Army?
§ 20. Captain CARR-GOMM
asked the Home Secretary whether, as a result of a conference between the Ministry of National Service and himself, he has issued a circular to town clerks asking for particulars as to the strength and responsibilities of fire brigades throughout the country; whether, pending the receipt of such information, he intends to take any steps to prevent Grade 2 men who are members of fire brigades from being called up for Army service under the new Act; and whether he is aware that unless he does so many fire brigades will be depleted far below the margin of safety?
§ Mr. BRACE
By arrangement with the Ministry of National Service, I have obtained from a large number of local 1206 authorities returns which give full information as to the reduction of strength of the fire brigades and the classification and duties of men who remain, and I am now in communication with the Ministry of National Service on the question of what exemption can be given to men belonging to the fire brigades who are classified in the lower grades. I should add that I understand the arrangement as to special constables to which the hon. Member for Dartford refers in the first part of his question is limited to the Metropolitan Special Constabulary.
§ Mr. ROWLANDS
May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman or the Minister of National Service will try to get firemen who are in Grade 2 exempted, because many of them are doing service of the greatest national importance in large munition areas?
§ Mr. RENDALL
Will the right hon. Gentleman say what course local and Appeal Tribunals ought to take pending final arrangements between his Department and the Ministry of National Service, having regard to the fact that there are now before these Appeal Tribunals men who are members of fire brigades and who are likely to be called up any day?
§ Mr. RENDALL
Will the right hon. Gentleman at least make some suggestion to the tribunals that they should delay coming to a final decision in these cases whilst he is obtaining the necessary information?