HC Deb 29 November 1951 vol 494 cc168-9W
78. Mr. A. Evans

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state the present strength of the Auxiliary Fire Service; the number of men and women who have joined and left the service since December, 1949; and gives separate figures in each case for each of the four divisions of the County of London.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

The following figures show for England and Wales and for the Headquarters and each of the divisions of the London Fire Brigade, the strength of the Service at 31st October, 1951, and the number of men and women who up to that date had joined and left the Service since recruitment began in November, 1949. The present strengths of the London divisions are affected by transfers from one division to another as well as by the numbers who have joined and left the Service.

statutory obligation to serve in the Territorial and Auxiliary Services is in conflict with the duties of a member of the Fire Services; and whether he will introduce legislation to provide that volunteers for the Fire Services are released from their obligation to serve in the Territorial and Auxiliary Services.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

I am aware that some fire authorities refuse recruits on account of obligations for service with the Armed Forces, but this is far from being a general practice.

Arrangements have already been made under which firemen who are volunteer members of the Territorial Army will not be liable to embodiment except where they have specially valuable Service experience. Legislation would not be required if, in the circumstances of the time, it were decided that some National Service men performing part-time service in the Territorial Army and Reserve Services ought to be retained in the Fire Service.

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