HC Deb 12 June 1939 vol 348 cc1049-50

10.54 p.m.

Sir J. Anderson

I beg to move, in page 51, line 19, to leave out from"tank," to the end of line 39, and to insert: the scheme may confer on the fire authority, for the purpose of constructing the tank and installing any pumping plant or other necessary apparatus, the like powers as are conferred on local authorities by Part II of this Act for the purpose of constructing underground air-raid shelters and works connected therewith. Hon. Members will recall that during the earlier Committee stage when we came to this Clause, which is concerned with the provision of underground tanks and apparatus of various kinds in connection with emergency fire fighting schemes, a promise was made that the provisions of the then Clause 7, which were to be replaced by the provisions of a new Clause, would be made applicable in a modified form to this Clause. This Amendment gives automatic effect to that pledge.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed,"That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

10.55 p.m.

Sir S. Cripps

May I ask the Minister one question? I am not certain whether there is anything in the point but I would like to put it to the right hon. Gentleman. The local authority which is the fire authority under Clause 54 is not the same local authority as under Clause 73. Under Clause 73, in the new draft, the local authority is given certain powers. The only proviso in regard to getting any authority from anyone else is where there is a highway authority which is an authority other than the local authority. That Clause will not be applicable in regard to the fire authority. The local authority who is responsible for roads but is not the highway authority will be using as it were its own property under Clause 7 (3), and therefore it does not have to give notice to anybody in such cases. In the case of the fire authority it will not be an authority using its own road and it should, in that case, give notice to the local authority who is responsible for the roads. It seems that this point has been overlooked and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will look into it.

Sir J. Anderson

This may be a more or less technical drafting point but I will see that it is looked into.

Mr. Ede

The right hon. Gentleman says that it is a technical drafting point, but I am informed that in London the county council is the fire authority and the highway authority is the Metropolitan Borough Council. When you get into the county areas, you have in some cases the Minister of Transport as the highway authority for the trunk roads and the county council for the county roads. The county is not the fire authority at all. The county district authority, as the fire authority, is responsible only for the roads which I have not already enumerated. It is very important to get this point absolutely clear.

Sir J. Anderson

When I said this was a technical drafting point I did not mean that it was unimportant. I thought there was agreement on both sides on this point, but the doubt raised by the hon. and learned Gentleman is as to whether we have in fact agreed; that is the point.