HC Deb 21 March 1940 vol 358 cc2140-1W
Mr. R. Gibson

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that large numbers of air-raid precautions workers in Renfrewshire have received notice of dismissal; that the position has created surprise in the areas concerned and apprehension in adjoining areas; what were the reasons alleged for the dismissals; and whether he will make a statement on the position and what steps he proposes to take in regard to the matter?

Sir J. Anderson

The local authority gave notice to a number of their paid A.R.P. volunteers in different parts of the county suspending their employment from noon to-day, being in doubt whether the pay of some of them, who were engaged without authority, would be reimbursed by the Exchequer. The need for whole-time rather than part-time volunteers in the services affected is being examined in the light of the general review of A.R.P. establishments now in progress, and the question of ultimate reimbursement will be determined as soon as practicable. I understand that the notices have been withdrawn. My Department are still in communication with the local authority.

Colonel Wedgwood

asked the Home Secretary whether economy in air-raid precautions, now being considered, can be implemented at once by the non-replacement of vacancies in the various paid services?

Sir J. Anderson

The rate at which reductions can appropriately be made depends upon circumstances in particular services and areas, and it would be impracticable to apply generally an inflexible rule on the lines suggested.

Forward to