§ Mr. Summers
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the policy of paying fees to firewatchers for attending lectures in addition to their regular pay of 3s. a night is causing discontent when comparison is made with the members of the Home Guard attending lectures without pay; and whether he will confine monetary recompense to firewatchers to their regular hours of duty?
§ Mr. H. Morrison
Subsistence allowances are payable to business premises' fire guards at the standard rates in respect of any occasion on which they are required to attend outside their working hours for instruction or training in like manner as if they were performing fire prevention duties under the arrangements at their business premises. Where, however, a fire guard is required to attend for instruction during or immediately before or after a period of fire guard duty at his business premises, the period of his attendance for such instruction would not be treated for subsistence allowance purposes as a separate occasion. It was agreed with the National Advisory Council for Fire Prevention that wherever possible training should be carried out, either during the trainee's normal turn of duty or inside his working hours. In the former case a fire guard would be eligible for one subsistence allowance covering the period of his normal duty, and in the latter case he would not be eligible for a subsistence allowance at all, but as I have indicated in the first part of my reply, a business premises' fire guard who of necessity is required to attend for instruction outside 1411W his normal working hours and outside his normal turn of fire prevention duty, is eligible for subsistence allowance in respect of that attendance.