HC Deb 11 June 1940 vol 361 cc1132-3
52. Commander Locker-Lampson

asked the Prime Minister whether he can now make any statement on the employment of Members of Parliament on suitable war service?

Mr. Attlee

I have now given further consideration to this matter. As I have told the House, His Majesty's Government are anxious that hon. Members who are desirous of assisting the national effort in their spare time should be given every opportunity for so doing. As the House will be aware, many Members are serving in His Majesty's Forces, and others are doing work of national importance in various ways. I might, as an example, refer to the work of the Select Committee on National Expenditure, which is composed of 32 Members. In addition to this, it must be remembered that there are opportunities for hon. Members to do service of the greatest value in their own constituencies and localities, particularly in connection with matters of Home Defence and National Savings. This kind of work is already being done, and I would like to emphasise its importance in the national interest.

The practical difficulties of utilising the services of every Member who is anxious to give his services in addition to his public duties as a Member of this House will, I am sure, be appreciated, but the Government will gladly avail themselves of hon. Members' services as far as possible.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many Members of this House are gravely perturbed when they read about the tremendous effort which is being made in our factories and shipyards and in other places, and feel that we are not, perhaps, pulling our full weight?

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