HC Deb 02 June 1938 vol 336 cc2212-3
17 and 19. Mr. Logan

asked the Home Secretary (1) whether he is satisfied that the air-raid precautions scheme of putting the population in groups of 50, in basements or sub-basements of old buildings in Liverpool, is a proper method, in view of the fact that if hit from the air not one of these buildings would stand;

(2) whether, as there is not one building in England the basement or sub-basement of which, whilst considered suitable for protection against blast, gas, splinters, etc., is capable of withstanding the effects of a direct hit by a 500 lb. bomb, he will ensure that before buildings are allowed to be used as air-raid shelters they are rendered proof against such a direct hit?

Mr. Lloyd

My right hon. Friend has advised local authorities in selecting basements for public air-raid shelters to secure not only that premises are selected which give reasonable lateral protection against blast and splinters but that the roofs are so strengthened as to carry the weight of the debris if the buildings above are brought down. Such shelters, although not necessarily proof against a direct hit, can afford a substantial degree of protection; but in accordance with the Government's general policy of dispersal it is considered that so far as practicable they should not ordinarily accommodate more than 50 people. No scheme for the provision of public air-raid shelters has been submitted by the Liverpool City Council, but when a scheme is received it will be considered for grant on these lines.

Mr. Logan

Is it not possible for a city like Liverpool, in view of the unemployment there, to suggest that we should have subterranean air shelters, which can be used as garages?

Mr. Lloyd

We must wait to see what proposals are put forward.

26. Mr. Thorne

asked the Home Secretary whether any agreement has been made with the Metropolitan Water Board in connection with the air-raid precautions; and what are the terms of agreement?

Mr. Lloyd

The basis of the grant to the Metropolitan Water Board for air-raid precautions has already been discussed with the board, but at their request a further meeting has been fixed for to-day. The nature of the agreement with the board must depend upon the result of that meeting.

89. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has reconsidered the possibility of establishing an anti-gas school in Scotland, in view of the difficulty of persuading persons to travel to Yorkshire, the nearest school, for such instruction?

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Wedderburn)

As indicated in the reply given to a question by my hon. Friend on 14th April, it is not considered necessary to establish further gas schools on the lines of those already in existence. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of a revised edition of the Air-Raid Precautions Memorandum dealing with Anti-Gas Training which has recently been issued and which contains particulars of? special scheme for the training of local anti-gas instructors which has been inaugurated to afford further facilities for giving training in anti-gas measures.