HC Deb 18 January 1940 vol 356 c249W
Mr. George Hall

asked the Home Secretary the annual estimate of expenditure for air-raid precautions in the respective regions of England and Wales on the basis of the estimate already published by the London and Wales regions?

Sir J. Anderson

This information is not readily available in the form in which the hon. Member has asked for it, but I am having the material examined and will communicate with the hon. Member in due course.

Captain Plugge

asked the Home Secretary what steps are being taken to secure part-time volunteers for air-raid precautions work, who are still needed in large numbers; and whether he is aware that many local authorities are content to work those volunteers who have already come forward to the maximum possible extent without evolving any proper relay system which would enable all workers to have two or three days off a week thereby avoiding boredom?

Sir J. Anderson

Local authorities are fully aware of the need for additional part-time volunteers, especially in view of the reductions in whole-time paid personnel which are being made in many areas. I am not aware of the conditions suggested in the second part of the Question. Local authorities were instructed in October that part-time volunteers who are in regular employment should not be called upon to do duty shifts of more than four hours or to do a duty shift during the night, except occasionally. I have no reason to think that many of them are acting as the hon. and gallant Member indicates. While the volunteers are on duty they are receiving regular training and thus full use is being made of this period before air attacks occur.