HC Deb 14 June 1915 vol 72 cc483-4
12. Mr. NIELD

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the number and character of fires which have, since the outbreak of war, taken places throughout the country, and especially in those which have consumed factories or other premises used for industrial purposes; and whether, in order to allay public anxiety as to the origin of such fires and to ascertain the facts both as to past or future conflagrations, he will introduce a measure to apply the City of London Fire Inquests Act, 1888, to the whole of the United Kingdom and treat it as emergency legislation?


Close attention is being given to this subject and the police examine into every case where there is ground for suspicion. The number of fires since the outbreak of war has not, so far as my information goes, been unusually large. I will consider the suggestion contained in the question, but as at present advised, I think inquiry by the police, made without unnecessary publicity, is likely to be more effective in cases where a hostile act is suspected than a coroner's inquiry, the publicity of which might defeat the object in view.


Will the right hon. Gentleman allow me to make another suggestion to him?


With pleasure, if my hon. Friend will communicate with me.