HC Deb 25 January 1937 vol 319 cc576-7
63. Mr. Levy

asked the Home Secretary whether he can make any statement on the plans for the distribution of gas masks in the event of air attack or threat of such an attack?

Mr. Lloyd

It is intended, as the accumulation of stocks proceeds, to store the respirators at depots and sub-depots throughout the country; and distribution to the public will take place from the sub-depots in accordance with arrangements which are now under consideration.

64. Mr. Levy

asked the Home Secretary how many local authorities have now submitted schemes for the protection of the civilian population in case of air raid; how many of these have been approved; and what authorities, if any, still refuse to prepare protective schemes?

Mr. Lloyd

Out of 174 county councils and county and Metropolitan borough councils, about 100 have submitted schemes at various stages of completeness to the Department for advice and assistance. I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT the answer to the last part of my hon. Friend's question.

Mr. Levy

Is any action being taken by the Home Office to bring into line those authorities that are not proposing to introduce, or have not yet introduced, any scheme?

Mr. Lloyd

The only county borough which at present has intimated that it will not co-operate is Barnsley, and there is a certain number of smaller boroughs and district councils. At present the attitude of the Home Office is that the co-operation which the Department has received from the local authorities throughout the country has been developing in the right direction so satisfactorily in recent months that we would prefer to rely upon a development of public opinion in the areas concerned.

Mr. R. C. Morrison

Is not some of the reluctance on the part of certain local authorities due to the uncertainty of their position in regard to the cost involved and the proportion of it that national funds are likely to bear?

Mr. Lloyd

My right hon. Friend is at present considering the representations made by a deputation.

Mr. Sandys

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that it is entirely equitable that the whole of the cost of these schemes should be borne by local authorities?

Mr. Lloyd

I should like to have notice of that question.

Mr. Potts

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that Barnsley's rates, which at the moment are less than they were last year, are 18s. 2d. in the £, and that we cannot bear any more cost?

Mr. Lloyd

The preparation of a scheme such as is asked for by the Home Office does not involve, really, much more than the time of certain local officials.

Following is the information referred to:

England and Wales.


Urban Districts:



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