HC Deb 31 March 1938 vol 333 cc2169-70
44. Mr. McEntee

asked the Home Secretary what is the estimated expenditure on the 30 new section houses to be built and the 20 existing section houses which it is proposed to reconstruct during the next seven or eight years within the Metropolitan police area; which section houses it is proposed to reconstruct; and in which areas new buildings are to be built?

Sir S. Hoare

As no final decision with regard to either the section houses to be reconstructed or the new ones to be built has been, or can be, reached for some time, I cannot give the hon. Member the detailed information he seeks. The actual expenditure on section houses under the building programme sanctioned by Parliament in 1935 will necessarily depend to a considerable extent on what may happen with regard to building costs and on other factors, but, on the information at present available, it appears likely that it will amount to about £2,000,000.

Mr. McEntee

In view of the great experience in this matter of the Department of the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Health, will the Home Secretary consult with that Department so as to get a more reasonable cost of building than that indicated in his reply?

Sir S. Hoare

I have no reason to think that the work will not be carried out economically, but I will certainly take account of the hon. Member's suggestion.

Mr. Kelly

Is any part of the cost of £2,000,000 to be imposed upon the local rates in the Metropolitan area?

Sir S. Hoare

As the hon. Member is aware, police expenditure is always 50 per cent. State and 50 per cent. local.

Sir T. Moore

On a point of Order, Mr. Speaker. There are on the Order Paper 82 questions, 24 of which deal with air-raid precuations. Would it not be possible to select a certain number of representative questions on air-raid precautions, as is done in the "Times," so that there would be time for some of the other questions?

Mr. Sandys

Further to the point of Order. Does not the number of questions on air-raid precautions show the importance which the country attaches to them?

Mr. Speaker

I am not going to select them.

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