§ Mr. Head
If the hon. Member wishes for an answer, I would say, in regard to the first part of his supplementary question, that the service of these men has been invaluable in strengthening our whole pattern of defence, and I think the House should be grateful for their loyal service; in regard to the second part of the question, if I ever thought of resigning—if the hon. Gentleman told me to do so it would make me less likely to.
§ 28. Mr. Swingler
asked the Secretary of State for War if he will now make a statement about the future of the Home Guard.
§ Mr. Swingler
Is it true or not true that the Home Guard is to be disbanded? Surely the right hon. Gentleman has read the reports? Is he not aware of the intolerable frustration of those who are left carrying this unfortunate baby of his? Surely he has an obligation to them, in view of the widespread reports about this, to make a statement straight away?
§ Mr. M. Stewart
Has the right hon. Gentleman made up his mind whether this force is to be disbanded or not? If he has, can he not tell us?
§ Mr. Head
As I have already explained, this question forms part of a reconsideration of the whole question of home defence, including the Territorial Army, the Home Guard and the Civil Defence plan. It is a most complicated subject, and we cannot arrive at a sudden decision in a matter that covers such a wide range.
§ Mr. Attlee
The right hon. Gentleman says that it is a very complicated subject. 1247 One matter was mentioned by his hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. R. Bell), on which his Department has already spent four and a half years. Does the right hon. Gentleman think that this subject will take as long?
§ Mr. Head
The last announcement made by the right hon. Gentleman's Government concerned a matter which is not the subject of this Question, but if he likes to discuss the matter with me I think he will agree that under the present system of government it appears to be very nearly insoluble. I think that the right hon. Gentleman found the same.