HC Deb 02 July 1953 vol 517 c574
28. Mr. Pargiter

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the number of part-time and volunteer firemen in the fire services of Great Britain in 1936; and what was the comparable figure in March, 1953, or to the latest available prior date.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir Hugh Lucas-Tooth)

Complete figures for 1936 are not available, but from returns obtained for the Riverdale Committee on Fire Brigade Services which reported in that year it is estimated that there were between 15,000 and 16,000 part-time firemen in the brigades in Great Britain which had motor pumping appliances. These figures do not include policemen employed part-time on fire brigade duties.

The number of part-time firemen serving in Great Britain on 31st December, 1952, was 16,900.

Mr. Pargiter

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that very misleading figures are frequently published in the Press about these matters, particularly in connection with the cost of the fire service, which cause very considerable concern to some local authorities and to the personnel? Will he do his best to counteract these misleading statements, which are based very often on very misleading pre-war figures.

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

I was not aware that misleading figures have been published, but it is true that changes have taken place since 1936 and I do not think tha any conclusion can be arrived at from a comparison of these two years.