HC Deb 04 March 1941 vol 369 cc743-4
3. Mr. Wedgwood

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will ask for a return, not to be published, showing, for each zone of the Home Guard how many have been enrolled; and of these how many have passed through each course on rifle shooting, grenade throwing, bayonet fighting, field-craft, street fighting, signalling and gas drill, with a view to stimulating backward areas?

Mr. Law

I am afraid that a return of this nature could not be compiled without throwing a disproportionate amount of clerical labour on Home Guard units. A system of inspection already exists, however, by which the standard of training in various parts of the country is kept under constant review.

Mr. Wedgwood

Is there any method whereby the backward zones can be brought up to the standard of, say, the Eastern Command; is there any sort of comparison formed whereby people who are not doing their training and pulling their weight can be brought up to scratch?

Mr. Law

Yes, Sir. There is a Director of Military Training who is responsible for Home Guard training and inspection, and who covers the whole country, and he, of course, can make his own comparisons and draw his own conclusions.

Mr. Garro Jones

Is the Minister aware that members of the Home Guard coming under the jurisdiction of other Departments, such as the Board of Education, have instructions to rejoin their schools in the event of a grave emergency, and will he look into any possible depletion of forces of that kind?

Mr. Law

I was not aware of that and will look into it.