HC Deb 06 August 1940 vol 363 c25
47. Mr. Lindsay

asked the Prime Minister who is responsible for deciding the nature of air-raid shelter for schoolchildren in various parts of the country?

The President of the Board of Education (Mr. Ramsbotham)

I have been asked to reply. The local education authority, in consultation with the local A.R.P. authority, are primarily responsible for determining the arrangements for protection of schoolchildren which are best suited to the circumstances of a particular locality or school. My Department's function in the matter is to give such general advice as may from time to time appear to be desirable and to approve, through His Majesty's inspectors, the estimated expenditure on the provision of protection.

Mr. Lindsay

Who is responsible for deciding, in view of the changed circumstances, whether an area shall have shelter? There is complete misunderstanding in different parts of the country on this question.

Mr. Ramsbotham

The hon. Member has completely forgotten the policy which he so recently administered. The material point is not the classification of an area into an evacuation or neutral or reception area as the case may be, but the view taken by the local education authority in consultation with the local A.R.P. authority subject to the approval by the Board of Education of the expenditure.

Mr. Ammon

What financial assistance is the Minister willing to give to the local authorities?

Mr. Ramsbotham

The minimum amount is 50 per cent. with an increase in the case of the poorer authorities in accordance with the present grant regulation.

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