HC Deb 04 April 1940 vol 359 cc301-2
34. Mr. T. Smith

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that some local authorities are passing resolutions urging that power should be given them to proceed against persons who misuse public air-raid shelters; and whether he intends to deal with the matter?

Sir J. Anderson

I have not had any representations from local authorities as to the misuse of public shelters. I shall shortly be communicating to local authorities advice as to the best methods of closing public shelters in such a way that they can be promptly opened in the event of an air-raid warning. Many local authorities have already done this. Destruction or theft of property can, of course, be dealt with under the general law and I am not aware that local authorities desire any other powers than are already available to them in order to deal with this matter.

Mr. Smith

Will the Minister keep in mind that in certain areas where offences have taken place inside public air-raid shelters the magistrate's clerk and the police have rather hesitated to take out summonses, being of the opinion that there was no Statute under which they could deal with such cases? Will he have inquiries made on this point, and if I send him information will he look into it?

Sir J. Anderson

I will do that with pleasure.