Fascists Barred from Anti-parachutist Force

Military quarters reported today that special precautions were being taken in connection with recruitment of new local defense volunteers to prevent inclusion of “fifth columnists” and Fascist sympathizers. The force is being organized to combat parachutists who might be assisted by Nazi supporters in the event of an attempted enemy invasion.

Rigorous inquiries will be made regarding each volunteer before he is enrolled and given arms. It is hoped that the force will be recruited mainly from the ranks of the British Legion. Fascist sympathizers are described as “fifth columnists” and as such will certainly not be given arms.

Last night’s announcement of the formation of the new volunteer force aroused fears that members of Fascist groups in England would be instructed by their leaders to join the force and secure arms to be in a position to occupy key positions. It is recalled that the Fascists, after the outbreak of the war, made strong efforts to place their adherents in the war reserve police and Air Raid Precautions units.

It is pointed out that local defense volunteers will be organized mainly in small towns and villages, where everybody knows everybody else and the police are in a position to judge whether the prospective volunteer is undesirable.

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