HC Deb 16 July 1924 vol 176 cc363-4
40. Mr. SEXTON

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that a poison gas factory at Sutton, St. Helens, Lancashire, closed down since the declaration of peace, is again showing signs of activity; and, as this works is situated in a thickly populated district, will he make inquiry with a view to the selection of a site more appropriate for such a purpose?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for WAR (Major Attlee)

I have been asked to reply. I am not aware that this factory is showing any special signs of activity. A wall to enclose War Department property is being built there, and some experiments are being carried out, but these are less extensive than they were some little time ago. The factory is in the main a war reserve factory and is not doing any manufacturing work. With regard to the last part of the question, full inquiry was made before the site was chosen, and I am not aware of any equally suitable site. Though the surrounding country is thickly populated, the factory itself is somewhat isolated, and its presence involves nor more risk to the neighbourhood than would any other munition or chemical establishment. No complaints were received in the past, even when the factory was producing on a war scale.