HC Deb 05 October 1939 vol 351 cc2077-8
31. Sir Irving Albery

asked the Home Secretary whether he will make arrangements for air-raid directions concerning shelters, ambulance stations, fire stations and casualty stations at present exhibited in the public streets to be illuminated after dark by means of luminous paint, or in any other suitable manner?

Sir J. Anderson

Local authorities have already been advised, in a circular issued by my Department on 1st September last, to provide for the illumination of direction signs of this kind. I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of the circular.

35. Mr. T. Smith

asked the Home Secretary whether he is satisfied that all is being done to obscure or diminish light from coke ovens and works of various kinds in the West Riding of Yorkshire?

Sir J. Anderson

Yes, Sir. My Department, in consultation with the various industries concerned, is taking active steps to secure the permanent obscuration of glare caused by industrial processes. Where permanent screening cannot be effected immediately, temporary screening measures are being taken, and special arrangements are made to prevent any glare being visible during the period of an air-raid warning.

Mr. Smith

Have any experiments taken place at coke ovens at collieries to discover how long it would take to damp down or obscure the light in the case of air raids?

Sir J. Anderson

I believe that in the case of coke ovens the arrangement made in order to prevent glare during a warning period involves the suspension of operations which, I understand, are technically known as charging and pushing.

44. Mr. Isaacs

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a disused tube-railway tunnel in North Southwark is in excellent condition suitable for an air-raid shelter with accommodation for a large number of people; and whether he is now in a position to give an answer to the several communications that have been addressed to him with reference thereto?

Sir J. Anderson

Yes, Sir. The existence of this tunnel was brought to my notice by the London Passenger Transport Board, and on my instructions the possibility of its use as an air-raid shelter has been the subject of discussion with the officers of the Southwark Council. I have also been able to obtain the independent opinion of a leading authority on engineering work of this type and, although the project is a complicated one from the engineering and financial point of view, I think it is one which has fruitful possibilities. No time will be lost in pursuing the matter to a decision.

Mr. Isaacs

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his interesting answer, may I add that we shall be very grateful in North Southwark if the matter can be expedited, as we feel that the place would accommodate 40,000 people?

54. Mr. Ede

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether the prior consent of the Board has to be obtained to expenditure on airraid precautions for schools incurred by a local education authority if grant is to be claimed on such expenditure; and what is the estimated cost for elementary and secondary schools, respectively, of such precautions sanctioned to date?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education (Mr. Kenneth Lindsay)

His Majesty's inspector is authorised, on behalf of the Board, to give formal approval for the purposes of grant to expenditure proposed to be incurred by local education authorities on air-raid precautions in schools. The estimated cost of such precautions sanctioned up to 30th September, 1939, is £1,552,062 for elementary schools and £193,900 for secondary schools.

Mr. Ede

What will happen in a case where a local authority proceeds, on the sanction of the President of the Board of Education, to provide a shelter without having first obtained the sanction of His Majesty's inspector?

Mr. Lindsay

I do not think that they do proceed on the sanction of the President of the Board. Any question of the provision of A.R.P. shelters is a matter for the local authority.