§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in view of the evidence that the "green goddess" fire appliances and their support efforts for fire fighting in the event of a national emergency are insufficient, what action he has taken or intends taking to investigate the whole question of Civil Defence and the future use of these machines.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
With the assistance which the Government have provided, fire authorities are providing the best fire cover possible in the circumstances, but I am under no illusions that this assistance can match that provided by the regular fire service. The use of the "green goddesses" no longer forms part of the Government's home defence plans, and their future use will be decided when the firemen's pay dispute is over.317W
§ Mr. Penhaligon
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what, for each of the last three years, has been the average weekly earnings of all fire service employees as a whole.
§ Mr. Merlyn Rees
The only information available on the average weekly earnings, as opposed to rates of pay, of fire service employees is that from the New Earnings Survey carried out by the Department of Employment. The estimates are of the average weekly earnings of men aged 21 and over in Great Britain whose pay for the survey reference April pay period was not affected by absence. They are gross amounts, before deduction of income tax and social security payments. They are subject to sampling errors. The estimates, which are based on returns for all fire service personnel, including supervisory and officer ranks reported as being affected by National Joint Council agreements, were £65.30 in April 1975, £69.70 in April 1976 and £74.90 in April 1977.