HC Deb 13 March 1939 vol 345 cc38-9
61. Mr. Duncan

asked the Minister of Health whether the senior permanent staff, such as the matron and secretary, of voluntary hospitals are to remain in their present hospitals in the case of an emergency or are to be moved to an outer district with the patients?

Mr. Bernays

My hon. Friend will see from the memorandum recently published on the emergency hospital organisation that in London and certain other centres the hospitals in the inner and outer areas are being grouped with the object of spreading skilled personnel to the best advantage. The distribution of individual members of the staff between the different hospitals is one of the matters which are being worked out on their behalf by the distinguished medical men acting as their group officers whose names, so far as London is concerned, my right hon. Friend announced in Debate on 2nd March.

62. Mr. Duncan

asked the Minister of Health whether he has completed his negotiations with the London voluntary hospitals regarding structural precautions in case of emergency; and, if so, what are the suggested arrangements?

Mr. Bernays

The nature of the precautions to be taken have been described in a published memorandum, a copy of which I will send to my hon. Friend. Under the financial arrangements which have been agreed with representatives of the voluntary hospitals, the Government will pay all of the cost of approved precautions above£1 per bed and 70 per cent. of the first£. Further details of the arrangements are being explained in a circular to the hospitals, which I will send to my hon. Friend as soon as it is issued.

67. Mr. Sandys

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he can now give further information as to the design and operation of the new device for the protection of babies against the danger of poison gas?

The Lord Privy Seal (Sir John Anderson)

Yes, Sir. A specimen helmet, and copies of a full description of it and of the instructions for its use, have been placed in the Tea Room.

Mr. Sandys

Is it the intention to distribute these new helmets to the public as soon as they are available, or to wait until an emergency?

Sir J. Anderson

I do not think that we have actually decided when they shall be distributed.

68. Mr. Parker

asked the Lord Privy Seal what steps he proposes to take in order to implement the proposals made in the White Paper, Paragraph VI, that all future buildings should be provided with adequate shelters and that the provision of air-raid shelters in or on every residential property should be compulsory?

Sir J. Anderson

I must ask the hon. Member to await the Bill which I hope to introduce shortly.

69. Mr. Duncan

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he will immediately distribute protective clothing to all district nurses in vulnerable areas?

Sir J. Anderson

No, Sir. It is not intended that the Government should make a free issue of protective clothing to personnel other than members of air-raid precautions services who may have to do their work in heavy concentrations of gas.

Mr. Duncan

Are not these district nurses liable to be in the street in the course of their duties during air raids, and would it not be advisable that they should be given protective clothing?

Sir J. Anderson

I have said that Government plans do not include their distribution to persons other than the categories I have mentioned.