§ 2. Colonel Wedgwood
asked the Secretary of State for War what steps are being taken to provide the Local Defence Volunteers with the grenades known as Molotoff cocktails; alternatively, are they encouraged to provide their own, and how can they get the petrol required?
§ Sir Richard Acland
Will the right hon. Gentleman see that all Local Defence Volunteers get the same instructions, because there are all sorts of instructions about these things?
§ 9. Mr. Vernon Bartlett
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the permission granted to members of the Local Defence Volunteers to wear the insignia of their rank in the last war makes discipline impossible in the present one and will he give orders that officers in the Local Defence Volunteers should display no insignia of rank other than those to which their immediate work entitles them?
§ Mr. Bartlett
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that quite a number of them are still wearing the uniforms they had in the last war, and that in one company in East Sussex there are six different generals all dressed up as generals; and, although one does not want to impugn their patriotism, is it not a fact that the great mass of people of this country, while they do not mind Corporal Hitler—
§ Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte
Will my right hon. Friend make it clear whether ex-officers are allowed to wear their old uniforms?
16. Miss Rathbone
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has considered the desirability of forming a women's force auxiliary to the Local Defence Volunteers, on lines similar to the women's services auxiliary to the Army, Navy and Air Force?
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether this Force can be formed quickly, especially in view of the need for large numbers of additional workers such as observers, motor drivers, cyclists and so on?
§ Dr. Edith Summerskill
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman how we are to fight in the hills, in the streets and in the houses, as envisaged by the Lord President of the Council on Sunday, if women are excluded from the Local Defence Volunteers?
§ 20. Mr. Cary
asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the limited number of rifles available for Local Defence Volunteers he will make arrangements for soldiers on leave to reinforce that organisation in the locality where they happen to be at a time of an enemy attack, and, in order to do so effectively, order all soldiers on leave to carry their rifles and an adequate number of cartridges wherever they go?
§ 73. Sir R. Acland
asked the Postmaster-General whether he will take a decision that installation of telephones reasonably required by the Local Defence Volunteers shall take priority over installations required for private and commercial purposes and shall be made without charge; and whether the utmost possible efforts will be made to maintain 647 the telephone service of the Local Defence Volunteers in the most immediate possible contact with main exchanges both day and night?
§ The Assistant Postmaster-General (Captain Waterhouse)
In common with all other military telephone installations provided by the Post Office, orders for telephones for the Local Defence Volunteer organisation are accepted only from the competent military authorities, normally Chief Signal Officers of Army Commands, and rentals for them are payable by the same military authorities. These telephones are treated in all respects as military installations; consequently, their provision takes priority over installations required for private or commercial purposes and special arrangements are made to maintain efficient telephone service both day and night.
§ Sir R. Acland
Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware of the case where the telephone, having been installed, was cut off on the grounds that the Local Defence Volunteers had not paid the quarterly charges for the telephone?
§ Captain Waterhouse
I have seen some reference to that in the Press, and if the hon. Member would like to write to me about it, I will go into it.