HC Deb 25 May 1939 vol 347 cc2488-90
42. Mr. Graham White

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether decisions have now been taken which will enable directions to be given with regard to the private evacuation, in time of emergency, of persons other than children, mothers and disabled persons; and whether such directions will have special regard to the use of roads and private vehicles?

Sir J. Anderson

I would refer the hon. Member to the full statement on this subject made yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, on the Committee stage of the Civil Defence Bill.

Mr. White

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind in this connection the useful provisional code which he issued in advance of legislation in regard to the alteration of buildings in connection with air-raid precautions, and see whether he cannot usefully make some similar statement in this connection, having regard to a certain amount of public anxiety and indefiniteness in the minds of the public authorities?

Sir J. Anderson

That is a suggestion which I have already under consideration.

Dr. Haden Guest

Will the right hon. Gentleman draw special attention to the fact, as pointed out by the Minister of Health yesterday, that the priority classes include all women, all mothers with children under five, and all expectant mothers, because, judging from the Press reports this morning, that is not generally understood.

Sir J. Anderson

I agree that that is a point which ought to be made perfectly clear.

63. Mr. J. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Health the reasons for classifying Llanelly and Buwry Port as reception areas under the evacuation scheme, in view of the fact that all the other ports in the Bristol Channel are classified as neutral areas?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Elliot)

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member for Everton (Mr. Kirby) on 18th May, which indicates the considerations I have had in mind in classifying areas for the purpose of the Government evacuation scheme. I do not think that it will be necessary to utilise the two places to which the hon. Member refers for reception purposes under the plans as at present arranged.

Mr. Griffiths

Do I understand that those two places will be removed from the reception area list?

Mr. Elliot

No, Sir. I think it would be inadvisable to do so, although I do not think it will be necessary in present conditions to utilise them.

Mr. Griffiths

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that local people cannot understand why those two places should be reception areas while ports on the Bristol Channel are not, and will he reconsider the matter?

Mr. Elliot

It is sometimes difficult for local people to realise and understand the full considerations as much as the hon. Member and others would like.

66. Sir John Mellor

asked the Minister of Health whether he will give further consideration to boundary regions where evacuation areas and receiving areas are contiguous, where evacuation might, in some instances, consist of transferring people from their homes on one side of a boundary street to billets on the other side of the same street; and whether he will consider the demarcation of neutral belts along boundaries between evacuation and receiving areas?

Mr. Elliot

Evacuation areas, and receiving areas, which are in any sense built up, are not normally contiguous, and there is no intention to transfer people from one side of a street to the other; but, as dispersal of the population is the objective, it is in certain cases advantageous to make use of areas that border on the evacuation areas but which are far from being congested. If my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind I shall be glad to look into it.

67. Mr. Hepworth

asked the Minister of Health how many local authorities in Yorkshire have made representations in relation to the classification of their district under the evacuation scheme; and the nature of such representations?

Mr. Elliot

One local authority in Yorkshire has asked that its area, which has been classified as a neutral area, should be evacuated, and 24 local authorities have asked that their areas, classified as receiving areas, should be made neutral.