HC Deb 01 May 1941 vol 371 cc578-9W
Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he can explain the high proportion of titled gentlemen appointed as officers in the Home Guard; and whether he is aware that in the last list of 319 appointments all but 19 were peers, baronets, knights or brigadier-generals?

Mr. Law

It is an instruction to the Selection Boards which recommend appointments to commissions in the Home Guard that officers will be chosen primarily for their powers of leadership and the confidence they are likely to inspire in all ranks, and that business, social or political prominence will not be regarded as a qualification in this respect. I have no reason to think that these instructions have not been carried out. As regards the figures quoted by my hon. Friend, I have been unable to trace any list of 319 appointments but those lists which I have examined show that less than 10 per cent, are peers, baronets, knights or brigadier-generals.

Mr. Isaacs

asked the Secretary of State for War whether consideration has been given or will be given to providing camp or other facilities, for a week or fortnight intensive training, to members of the Home Guard who may be able to take advantage of such facilities?

Captain Margesson

Members of the Home Guard are an essential part of our defences in the immediate vicinity of their own homes, and it is therefore not desirable that they should be taken away for training to camps in other parts of the country. Five-day courses of intensive training are held at Home Guard schools in addition to courses arranged locally by commands, and a mobile school tours remote areas to ensure that training in the Home Guard is maintained at a consistently high standard.