HC Deb 17 June 1954 vol 528 cc2268-9
36. Mr. Albu

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether it is now intended to bring forward the date for the commencement of training of Royal Air Force Reservists in mobile Civil Defence columns; and how many columns it is intended to form.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Welsh Affairs (Sir David Maxwell Fyfe)

Arrangements are being made to bring the scheme, which was announced by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Defence on 2nd March last, into operation as soon as possible after the necessary legislation has been passed. The Bill for the purpose has been introduced in another place and I shall be glad to give fuller explanations of the scheme when the Bill reaches this House.

Mr. Albu

Does that mean that the date which was originally given, I believe by the Under-Secretary of State for Air, for the scheme to come into operation in 1956 has now been brought forward?

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

I hope that the training will start in 1955.

Mr. Shinwell

Do we understand that only about 30,000 of R.A.F. National Service reservists are to be transferred to these mobile columns? If so, what is to happen to the remainder?

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

The remainder of what?

Mr. Shinwell

There are 80,000 available, whom the R.A.F. cannot absorb and use. The right hon. and learned Gentleman is concerned with 30,000 of them. What of the rest?

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

I am sorry, but I shall have to ask the right hon. Gentleman for notice of that question.

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