HC Deb 05 February 1918 vol 101 c2108W

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that a general feeling of resentment is felt by the searchlight operators of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, Anti-Aircraft Corps, at the proposal to discharge them after three years' service, in view of the fact' that they have frequently been commended for their efficiency during raids; whether, as these men are either over military age or ineligible for general service, they may be offered the opportunity of continuing in the corps by giving duty on alternate nights in accordance with the conditions under which they agreed to serve in the corps; and if he thinks that a band of Volunteers who have admittedly rendered good service should be superseded at a time when the man-power question is receiving so much attention?


The valuable work which has been performed by these members of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve is fully recognised; but, as I have explained, recent developments in search, light work, and the great importance attaching to it for the efficient defence of the country against enemy aircraft, have necessitated a far higher degree of training for the searchlight detachments, and the necessary efficiency cannot be maintained with part-time men only.