HC Deb 08 July 1941 vol 373 cc6-7
5. Mr. Summers

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in order to promote efficiency and acknowledge good attendance, he will fix now the minimum hours of duty and the period which shall be regarded as the minimum necessary for members of the Home Guard to qualify for a service medal, to be issued after the war?

Captain Margesson

No, Sir. The question of the award of a medal to the Home Guard is part of the general question of the award of medals for service in the present war, and any assumptions regarding such awards would clearly be premature at the present time. So far as my hon. Friend's proposal is intended to serve as an incentive to increased efficiency, however, I may mention that a proficiency badge has recently been instituted for those members of the Home Guard who are recommended by their company commander and succeed in passing certain tests.

Mr. Summers

Is my right hon. and gallant Friend prepared to consider some other distinction between the regular and irregular attenders other than the proficiency badge, perhaps something of a less stringent character?

Captain Margesson

Perhaps my hon. Friend would give me particulars of what he wants me to consider. I certainly do not think that now is the moment to go into the question of medals to be awarded after the war.

Mr. Thorne

Is not the Home Guard absolutely under the right hon. and gallant Gentleman's control?

Captain Margesson

Yes, Sir. As Secretary of State for War I am responsible for it.

11. Mr. Silverman

asked the Secretary of State for War, why the Nelson company of the Home Guard now in camp have been refused either rations or subsistence allowances?

Captain Margesson

Rations in kind are provided for members of the Home Guard attending approved courses of instruction at authorised training camps. I understand that no application has been made for the camp to which my hon. Friend refers to be placed on an official footing, but I have not yet received a full report from the Command and I am looking into the matter further. I will communicate with my hon. Friend as soon as possible.

Mr. Silverman

While thanking the right hon. and gallant Gentleman for that reply, may I ask him to bear in mind that repeated applications were made to the area headquarters, and assistance of any kind was repeatedly refused?

Captain Margesson

That is exactly the kind of fact I wish to bear in mind.