HC Deb 21 September 1939 vol 351 cc1042-3
25. Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Home Secretary when he anticipates that a sufficient supply of bedding and blankets will be available for the Auxiliary Fire Service; whether he intends to rely largely on gifts of these articles from householders; and whether, in view of the approach of winter, some grant will be made to those who bring their own bedding and blankets, which in many cases have had to be purchased owing to nothing having been provided by the authorities other than a garage floor?

Sir J. Anderson

The provision of bedding and blankets for the use of those members of the Auxiliary Fire Service whose duties require them to sleep away from their homes is the responsibility of the local fire authorities, and the cost ranks for Exchequer grant. In one or two instances I understand that, shortly after the Auxiliary Fire Service was mobilised, requests were made for assistance in meeting immediate requirements, but I am not aware that there is now any special difficulty in obtaining the necessary supplies.

Sir J. Lucas

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the very great shortage of mattresses, and that the only blankets we have are the curtains that have been cut down?

Sir J. Anderson

I shall be glad to look into the difficulties which exist in any area, but my information is that supplies from contractors are now coming for ward very satisfactorily.