HC Deb 24 January 1940 vol 356 cc557-8
15. Mr. Mander

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he will consider the advisability of arranging, so far as is practicable, that men engaged at observation posts shall be drawn from those out of employment, with a view to avoiding feeling between special constables who receive no payment for their ordinary work, and special constables who are employed part-time at observation posts, and often, though in full employment, are paid at the rate of Is. 3d. per hour; and whether he will give particular attention to the situation existing in these respects at a post between Bewdley and Tenbury?

Sir K. Wood

As special constables, members of the Observer Corps were entitled to certain allowances. The corps, however, is no longer part of the Special Constabulary and those allowances have been replaced by the present consolidated payment of is. 3d. an hour. The great majority of the observers were enrolled before the war and were specially trained for this work. No large-scale substitution is practicable at this stage, but any vacancies that occur will be filled as far as possible from persons registered at the Employment Exchanges. If the hon. Member will communicate with me on the last part of the Question I will have inquiries made.