HC Deb 31 July 1941 vol 373 cc1512-4
18. Mr. James Hall

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that paid wardens and stretcher-bearers over 38 years of age were called up from Stepney; why this was done; and whether he will take steps to prevent further dislocation of the Civil Defence services of Stepney?

Mr. H. Morrison

I am informed that, owing to a failure in this case to adopt the procedure laid down for securing deferment, five whole-time wardens in Stepney have recently received enlistment notices. The appropriate deferment procedure has since been complied with in the case of-other wardens under 41 years of age. who will accordingly be deferred until 30th September. An enlistment notice was sent to one stretcher bearer owing to a misunderstanding about his employment as a full-time member of the service. Application has been made to the War Office for the release of all six men.

22. Mr. Hall

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that full-time wardens in Stepney are being paid by shopkeepers and others to act as fire-watchers while they are on duty; and will he take steps to put a stop to this practice?

Mr. Morrison

It is clearly improper that Civil Defence volunteers who receive pay from local authorities for their services on the basis of a normal duty week of not less than 72 hours (or 48 hours if women) should, while on duty, work for and receive pay from other employers. If my hon. Friend will inform me of the names of the individuals concerned, I will take appropriate action. Inquiries to date have failed to identify the parties concerned.

Mr. Hall

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the whole of the wardens' system in Stepney is honeycombed with this sort of thing, and that it has developed into a ramp? Without investigation it is very difficult to discover the extent of its ramifications. Will stricter control be exercised over the wardens in Stepney?

Mr. R. C. Morrison

Will my right hon. Friend look into the growing practice in certain London districts of demolition workers leaving work in the morning, after working all night, and commencing work with contractors?

Mr. H. Morrison

Yes, Sir, I will do that. If particulars are given to me, it will be of assistance.

Mr. Hall

Is my right hon. Friend aware that I have discussed this matter with the controller at Stepney, who agrees with all that I have said?

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