HC Deb 02 December 1937 vol 329 cc2227-8
31. Mr. De Chair

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what precautions have been taken to prevent the pollution of the main reservoirs supplying London and other big cities by the dropping of cholera, typhoid, and other fatal germs in capsules by enemy aircraft in time of war?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)

This matter has received consideration in all its bearings in consultation with distinguished scientists, and appropriate measures have been decided on. It would not be in the public interest to state the nature of these precautions.

Mr. De Chair

Are we to understand that the precautions are adequate? People will be very much more worried about the possibility of the introduction of germs of this kind in view of recent events.

Mr. Levy

Would not proper and full purification up to a prescribed standard, before the water is sent to the consumer, eliminate these dangers entirely?

Mr. Lloyd

No doubt that is one of the matters which will be very carefully considered.

36. Mr. Dalton

asked the Home Secretary why only one organiser has been appointed in connection with air-raid precautions for the whole of the administrative county of Durham; and what is the standard adopted by his Department, in terms of population and other factors, in the appointment of such organisers?

Mr. Lloyd

I understand that hitherto the preparatory work has been done by the regional committees which have been set up, but that the county council are now proposing to appoint an organiser for the administrative county. It is for the local authorities concerned to consider what arrangements are most appropriate for organising the work in their area, and no standards have been laid down as to the number of organisers necessary for any given area or population. My right hon. Friend is, however, considering whether it is practicable to give any further guidance on this subject.

Mr. Dalton

Do I understand that these organisers are being appointed entirely on the initiative of the local authorities, without any guidance up to date from the Home Office?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir; the responsibility for these appointments rests entirely with the local authorities. As I said the other day, the Home Office is ready to give assistance by way of suggesting names where local authorities desire it.

43. Mr. W. H. Green

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that, in the Metropolitan borough of Deptford, attempts are being made to sell gas masks from door to door; whether such action has the approval of his Department; and whether householders have any guarantee that such gas masks would be as reasonably effective as those to be issued by the Government?

Mr. Lloyd

The Home Office has no information of any door-to-door sale of gas masks at Deptford or elsewhere, nor has any such procedure been approved or contemplated.

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