HC Deb 24 October 1940 vol 365 c1135
39. Sir J. Lucas

asked the Home Secretary whether, under the new merger scheme of the London Fire Brigade and the Auxiliary Fire Service, a regular fireman and an auxiliary, injured on duty, will now both be treated on the same scale, or whether the auxiliary fireman will still have to apply to the public assistance authorities after the first fortnight; and whether he is aware of the feeling of grievance at the latter arrangement?

Mr. H. Morrison

The scheme in question provides for a new basis of payment of full-time Auxiliary Fire Service officers. These officers, in common with other members of the Auxiliary Fire Service, will remain eligible for the grant of injury allowances and pensions provided for in the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme. As regards the suggestion that auxiliary firemen will have to apply to the public assistance authorities, I should like to make it clear that there is no question of any auxiliary fireman having to apply for public assistance. Under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme, application is made for temporary injury allowances, covering incapacity for work following an injury, to a local office of the Assistance Board, who, in this matter, act as agents of the Ministry of Pensions.

Sir J. Lucas

As the regular soldier and the militiaman get paid exactly the same if they are wounded in action, why should the regular fireman and the auxiliary fireman on the same job be differently treated? Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that this position arouses very strong feeling?

Mr. Morrison

The position is not unrelated to the fact that regular firemen are under superannuation schemes. I do not think it would be fair to Civil Defence services generally that auxiliary firemen should be treated on a basis different from that of other Civil Defence workers. The House is equally proud of them all, and they all deserve the same consideration.