HC Deb 11 November 1941 vol 374 cc2020-1
15. Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will arrange for the training of men in reserved occupations in the weapons they will use in event of an invasion, without introducing compulsion in the organisation of the Home Guard?

Captain Margesson

Men in reserved occupations are encouraged to join the Home Guard, and large numbers of them have taken advantage of the facilities thus afforded for training in the use of weapons. So far as I can see, no advantage would be gained by introducing additional facilities outside the organisation of the Home Guard, as my hon. and gallant Friend appears to suggest. Apart from other undesirable effects, such a scheme would result in duplication of effort and uneconomical use of our training resources.

Lieut.-Colonel Heneage

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend explain how duplication of effort can occur? Is he aware that in many country districts there arc: lonely farms where, if facilities are afforded, men will be available in case of invasion, and where they will be only too glad to be trained in the use of arms?

Captain Margesson

I think they can get their training through the Home Guard.

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

In view of the number of women who want to help, could not the War Department deal with them gracefully and enable them to take part in the war effort in this way?