HC Deb 05 June 1939 vol 348 cc27-8
36. Mr. A. Jenkins

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, in view of the delay and hesitation of local authorities in carrying out air-raid schemes involving financial burdens beyond their power, he will take steps to amend the law in order that the liability may be borne nationally?

Sir J. Anderson

I cannot hold out any prospect of legislation to transfer the whole cost of Civil Defence to the Exchequer. As regards the present financial liabilities of local authorities for Civil Defence under the Air-Raid Precautions Act, 1937, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply on this subject which I gave to the hon. Member for Camberwell, North (Mr. Ammon), on 18th May.

Mr. Jenkins

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of the local authorities are unable to carry out schemes because of the enormous financial liability involved, and does he not recognise that we cannot have efficient schemes unless much more of the cost is borne by the nation?

Sir J. Anderson

I am not aware of any evidence that work is being held up, as the hon. Member implies; but I shall be glad to look into any cases if he will let me have particulars.