HC Deb 17 October 1950 vol 478 cc1870-1
35. Sir I. Fraser

asked the Secretary of State for War if he will make a statement as to his plans for the setting up of a Home Guard.

Mr. Strachey

I cannot at present add anything to my reply to the hon. Member on 25th July.

Sir I. Fraser

In view of the Prime Minister's recent appeal for recruits for the Civil Defence services, will the right hon. Gentleman take into account with the Home Secretary that very many middle-aged ex-Service men may think that their best services would be in a Home Guard, and that some co-ordination of the recruiting for services of this kind is in the public interest?

Mr. Strachey

My previous reply stated that we are in touch with other Departments on this matter.

Mr. Eden

Is it not the position today that a certain number of men are holding back from joining Civil Defence because they are in doubt whether the Home Guard is to be revived or not, and would it not be advisable to clear up the matter in the national interest?

Mr. Strachey

I quite agree; and the earlier statement did say we must consult with the other Departments concerned before we could make a statement on this matter. It will be made.

Major Legge-Bourke

How long is Civil Defence to have complete priority in recruiting from those who will not be called up for Regular service or for National Service? Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the longer he leaves it, the more uncertainty there will be and the less likelihood that Civil Defence will get into its stride?

Mr. J. Langford-Holt

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his last reply was given three months ago? Has no progress been made since that date?

Captain Crookshank

The right hon. Gentleman has been travelling round the world.