HC Deb 31 May 1938 vol 336 cc1858-9W
Mr. Kirby

asked the Home Secretary whether he can make a statement as to the progress made in the matter of air-raid precautions, showing how many full-time servants are employed by his Department and by local authorities, and their rate of remuneration; how many are in receipt of salaries from the Government and local authorities in addition to salaries for air-raid precautions duties; how many are in receipt of pensions from the Government or local authorities; how many are of military age; and whether he considers it advisable to accept such persons for air-raid precautions duties, having in mind that such men might be required for full military duties in the event of war?

Mr. Lloyd:

Detailed information regarding whole time appointments by local authorities is not available at present. It is known that such appointments have been made in many cases, either by the transfer of existing officials from their present duties to air-raid precautions duties, or by the engagement of other officers. My right hon. Friend does not think he would be justified in asking local authorities to devote the time necessary for making a full return of these particulars at the present moment. As regards persons employed by the Home Office, I would refer the hon. Member to the particulars given in the printed volume of Civil Estimates, Class III, Votes 1 and 2.

With regard to the last part of the question, the fact that these officers are engaged on air-raid precautions work during peace time does not mean that they would not be available for active defence if in time of war it should be decided that their services would be more advantageously utilised in this way.