HC Deb 06 March 1946 vol 420 cc94-5W
125. Mr. Medland

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that R.M.P. in the Devonport dockyard who signed on for a 48-hour week with one day off per week, now have periodically to do fire-party duty when they are on-call for 22 hours, and are only allowed home for a two-hour lunch break each day; that they have to carry their tea, supper and breakfast for which they receive no extra rations; that they are not privileged to use the dockyard canteens even for a cup of tea; and it he will consider allowing these men to do a 24-hour on and 24-hour off duty during the week when they have to perform fire-party duties.

Mr. Dugdale

Yes, Sir. Firefighting duties are being performed now, as in prewar years, by Royal Marine Police in the interim period between the disbandment of the Royal Naval Fire Force and the decision on the long term policy by the Home Office. The normal tour of duty for Royal Marine Police is one of 48 hours per week, but their conditions of service provide for this to be exceeded if necessary. When performing fire-fighting duties the men receive an allowance and get two days rest at the end of their seven days fire picket duty.

Arrangements exist whereby hot meals, including breakfast, luncheon and tea are provided by the Dockyard Canteen if desired These are brought from the dock-Canteen in hot containers. The object of the present tour of fire picket duty is to train as many men as possible in the shortest possible period. When this training is complete it is hoped to reduce the period of fire picket duty. This matter is at present under active consideration and any decision arrived at will be communicated to the hon. Member in due course.