HC Deb 13 October 1942 vol 383 cc1466-8
8. Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for War what steps are being taken to provide all works units of the Home Guard with greatcoats before the winter weather sets in?

Sir J. Grigg

Over 91 per cent. of the members of the Home Guard now have greatcoats. With the exception of some recently joined recruits who are awaiting fitting all the rest have capes.

Mr. Edwards

Is the right hon. Gentle-, man not aware that in Middlesbrough in some of these units, and very old units, there are still as many as 50 per cent. without these greatcoats; and that this is very discouraging to men who are trying to carry out their duties with some enthusiasm? Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the matter?

Sir J. Grigg

I am surprised to hear that the percentage is anything like so high as 50 per cent. in Middlesbrough, and I will certainly look into that special case. I have been assured that every Home Guard whose duties lie out of doors will have a greatcoat as soon as it can be arranged.

Mr. Edwards

I had those figures given to me only yesterday.

Sir H. Williams

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how the capes are allotted? One commanding officer that I know of is in great difficulty. All his men work outside, and he has got 10 per cent. of capes and does not know to whom to allot them.

16. Sir Frank Sanderson

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that there are now nearly 250 units of Women's Home Defence in towns, villages, factories, banks, universities and Government Departments, most of these working with the Home Guard and undertaking duties which will release men for combatant service; and, in view of this, will he consider granting them official recognition?

Sir J. Grigg

I am aware that there are many useful services of a non-combatant character that women can render in connection with the Home Guard, and arrangements for placing assistance of this kind on an official footing are at present under discussion.

63. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

asked the Minister of Labour what progress has been made in directing suitable civilians into the Home Guard; and what number has been so directed up to 30th September?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Tomlinson)

As stated in reply to a similar Question by my hon. Friend on nth September, it would not be in the public interest to make known the number of civilians directed to enrol in the Home Guard, but I may say that the number up to 3rd October, amounted to some four-fifths of the demands notified to the Ministry by the Army Commands.

Sir T. Moore

What possible danger can their be in publishing this information? If there were only two men and a boy it would not matter, but if there are 2,000,000 men it means that it is a serious menace to Hitler?

Mr. Tomlinson

The danger is exactly the same as it was on nth September.