HC Deb 24 March 1942 vol 378 cc1785-6
8. Colonel Colville

asked the Under-Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the added responsibilities undertaken by the Home Guard, and the difficulty experienced by battalion commanders in training their units for their operational role and safeguarding their equipment, he will now authorise the provision of an adjutant and a quartermaster for each battalion, in place of the present joint appointment of adjutant-quartermaster; and whether he will also make provision for an increase in the scale of permanent staff instructors?

Mr. Sandys

It has been decided in all except a very few small battalions to abolish the grade of administrative assistant. Every battalion which is now entitled to an adjutant-quartermaster will in future be entitled to a separate adjutant and a separate quartermaster. The case of small battalions whose establishment at present only provides for an administrative assistant is being considered. A large increase in the scale of permanent staff instructors has also been authorised.

Colonel Colville

Is my hon. Friend aware that this answer will give great satisfaction and greatly strengthen the whole Home Guard; and can he also say whether steps are being taken to make personnel from Regular Forces available to fill these posts, bearing in mind that when the original appointments of adjutant-quartermasters were made to the Home Guard they had to find them largely from their own resources?

Mr. Sandys

Serving officers and noncommissioned officers from the Regular Army Will be made available to fill these posts as soon as possible.

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Will the hon. Gentleman also take into consideration the fact that the Home Guard would be more grateful if they could be adequately armed?