§ 21. Mr. Glenvil Hall
asked the Secretary of State for War why Mr. Steele, of Chalfont Heights, Buckinghamshire, an ex-service man, who applied in proper form about two months ago to join the Local Defence Volunteers, has not yet been enrolled, although the section for his area is under strength?
§ 22. Mr. Glenvil Hall
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that the Local Defence Volunteers River Section, Thames Embankment, have been ordered by their company commander to provide themselves with uniform and kit, costing from £4 to £10, on the grounds that this has been prescribed by the authorities and has indicated that those unwilling to purchase kit in this way could resign; and whether this order has been issued with War Office sanction?
§ 24. Lieut.-Colonel Wickham
asked the Secretary of State for War what arrangements are contemplated to provide the means of livelihood for Local Defence Volunteers and their families should the former be called up for a period of days, or longer, in order to assist in repelling attempts at invasion?
§ Mr. Eden
The Home Guard is a voluntary, unpaid, part-time force, and its members will not normally be absent from their homes, except for their ordinary spells of duty. It is recognised, however, that circumstances may arise in the event of an attempt at invasion when, as a result of the exigencies of the military situation and in areas directly affected by the attempted invasion, volunteers may not be able to rejoin their families for a few days or even for more extended periods. In such circumstances, the military authorities will accept full responsibility for feeding the volunteers themselves, and provision will be available for their families, if they are in need.
§ Mr. Gallacher
Is the Minister aware of the very important point that many of these men are out night after night, and have to go to work the following day? Should not something be done to meet their case?
§ 34. Mr. Tinker
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will consider providing Army footwear to members of the Home Defence as, during the coming winter, good strong boots will be necessary to keep them fit for the duties they will undertake?
§ Mr. Tinker
Can the right hon. Gentleman say when he is likely to complete the whole supply that is required?
§ Mr. Glenvil Hall
Will the Secretary of State for War supply first country areas where men have to go through long grass during the night and have to go to work in the same boots the next day?
§ Mr. George Griffiths
Will the right hon. Gentleman see that miners who leave their shoes and clogs at the pit have these shoes first?
§ 40. Sir Robert Young
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that an ex-soldier who joins the Home Guard is not allowed to wear his discharge badge on his uniform; what order prevents such a man from showing that he was a member of His Majesty's Forces; and will he state the reason for such disallowance?
§ Mr. Eden
The silver war badge was instituted in 1916 for those who had been discharged as physically unfit, and was intended for wear with civilian clothes. It was later permitted to be worn with uniform by those who rejoined, but this concession was withdrawn in 1922, when the wearing of wound stripes and chevrons denoting overseas service also ceased.
§ 44. Mr. Tinker
asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that when members of the Home Guard are on night duty many of them have to go on to their employment before they go home; and will he consider allowing some form of grant to each unit to meet the 1140 expense they are put to at the present time to supply needed refreshment in such cases?