HC Deb 13 June 1939 vol 348 cc1201-4

Amendment made: In page 12, line 20, leave out "an approved type," and insert "the approved standard."—[Mr. W. S. Morrison.]

755 P.m.

Sir J. Anderson

I beg to move, in page 12, line 31, to leave out from "of," to the end of the line, and to insert: the approved standard, specifying with such particularity as the occupier or owner thinks reasonably necessary the nature and situation of the shelter, and specifying the number of persons that the shelter is to be constructed to accommodate. This is linked up with the change to which I have referred in the form of the notice. It also, however, contains a further provision of some importance. It not only substitutes "approved standard" for "approved type," but it provides that the factory inspector or other person giving notice to an employer, occupier or owner shall specify with such particularity as is reasonably necessary the nature and situation of the shelter and shall also specify the number of persons the shelter is to be constructed to accommodate. It is clear, on looking closely into the whole matter, that a shelter might be perfectly satisfactory in itself—the standard of structure might be perfectly satisfactory— but if you were providing for more persons than it was really suited to accommodate it would not, in fact, conform to a reasonable standard of shelter. It is in order to ensure that the shelter must not only be of a suitable type in itself, but adapted to accommodate the full number of people to be covered by the notice requiring the occupier or owner to provide the shelter, that this change has been made.

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill," put, and negatived.

Question proposed, "That the proposed words be there inserted in the Bill."

Mr. Kirk wood

In the event of alterations being made in any private property, strengthening it and making it suitable for air shelters, will that be done at the expense wholly or partly at the expense of the Government, and after it is done, will it enhance the value of the property?

Mr. Speaker

I hardly think that this is the occasion to raise that point.


Mr. George Griffiths

Apparently the owner of any factory, mine or commercial building who is going to give protection to his employés has to specify the number of persons that the shelter will hold. Is the right hon. Gentleman going to have a kind of Clause similar to those dealing with overcrowding in houses—-only so many in a room? One person may say that a shelter will hold 140, another may have a shelter of a similar size and say it will only hold 60. How are we to know the number of persons that the Government itself will certify the shelter will hold?


Sir J. Anderson

The code itself lays down standards of accommodation in regard to the number of square feet to be provided per person and the cubic capacity per person. This Clause requires the owner of a commercial building, when giving notice to the occupier of the building with regard to the shelter that he proposes to provide, to make quite clear, not only what type of shelter he is going to provide, but the number of people for whom it will be provided. Only in that way will it be possible for those concerned to satisfy themselves as to how far the standard of the code is being conformed with.

Sir J. Anderson

I beg to move, in page 13, line 1, to leave out Sub-section (4) and to insert: (4) Where the occupier of factory premises or the owner of a commercial building holds any part of the premises or building on lease, he shall, before commencing any such works, serve upon his immediate landlord, or where he holds different parts of the premises or building under different landlords, on each of his immediate landlords, such a notice as is mentioned in Sub-section (2) of this Section, and each person upon whom such a notice or a copy thereof is served in satisfaction of an obligation imposed by this Sub-section, shall within seven days from the date of the service of the notice or copy himself serve a copy thereof upon his immediate landlord or landlords, if any: Provided that where the occupier of factory premises has. under the said Sub-section (2) served a copy of a notice on any person, the service of that notice shall be treated as satisfying his obligation under this Sub-section to serve a notice on that person. This is nothing but drafting. An Amendment accepted at a previous stage, moved by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr. Spens), is being adapted in order to bring it into line with a change to which I have referred more than once in the form of the code. Also, there was a certain overlap between the Amendment in question and certain provisions elsewhere with regard to the short-term factory occupier. Those drafting defects are put right by this Amendment.

Mr. G. Griffiths

Why has the right hon. Gentleman left out of this Clause the words "or mine"?

Sir J. Anderson

Reference to mines was never in this Clause.

Mr. Ede

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us why there was never a reference to mines?

Mr. G. Griffiths

It was in Clause 14.

Sir J. Anderson

I can explain that at once. This deals with the case of factory premises and commercial buildings where more than one employer may be concerned. That is a case which does not arise at all with regard to mines, and that is the reason why mines are excluded.

Amendment agreed to.