§ 21. Mr. MACLAY
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the suggestion to build large underground car-parking garages in the congested areas of London and other cities; and whether he will consider the desirability of taking immediate steps to ensure that these buildings are erected in such a manner as to make them quickly 2172 and easily convertible into large scale gas- and bomb-proof shelters for the use of the civil population in the event of war?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)
The cost of making underground garages proof against direct hits by high explosive bombs would be prohibitive, except in very special circumstances. The whole question of air raid shelters affording protection against gas and splinters from high explosive bombs is, however, under examination at the moment, and the possibility of making use of underground garages and of rendering them, and other places of shelter gas-proof and splinter-proof will be considered. The results will be embodied in an Air Raid Precautions Handbook on "Structural Precautions against Bombs and Gas." In the meantime, my Department would be glad to advise the architects of any proposed underground garages and to recommend the extent to which such garages should be used as shelters, having regard to the various considerations of safety involved.
§ Mr. SORENSEN
Does the hon. Gentleman know what proportion of the population could be sheltered in this fashion?
§ 74. Mr. MANDER
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air when a report may be expected from the committee set up to consider methods of defence against air attacks?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for AIR (Sir Philip Sassoon)
The committee and the scientists and others who are associated with it are continuously at work, but it would not be in the public interest to disclose the lines on which work is proceeding.