HC Deb 07 August 1940 vol 364 cc193-4
29. Mr. Cocks

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will issue instructions to the effect that the glass windows in tramcars and omnibuses in London and elsewhere shall be treated with some adhesive material which will reduce the danger of flying glass in cases of aerial bombardment?

Sir J. Reith

Instructions are that, when air raid warning is given, drivers should stop as soon as they come to a suitable place for shelter. In view of the labour and expense in treating the windows of tramcars and omnibuses, it is not proposed to require operators to take action on the lines suggested.

Mr. Cocks

Even if it is certain that warnings will be given before bombs begin to fall, if the cars are left in the streets their windows will be shattered and they will be useless next day. Would it not be better to treat the glass?

Sir J. Reith

I quite understand the point, but it is one of those matters that may be as broad as it is long, or not quite as broad as it is long. So far it has been considered not justifiable to incur the expense indicated.

Mr. Noel-Baker

In view of the reports from the Ministry of Home Security that by far the greatest number of casualties so far inflicted in this country have been due to splintered glass, some of the casualties being fatal, would not this relatively slight expenditure be justified?

Sir J. Reith

The matter is one which I should be very glad to submit to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Home Security for his further advice, but so far the position is as I have stated, and if my right hon. Friend's advice is to the contrary, I shall be delighted to take action accordingly.

Mr. Stokes

Is it not a fact that most of the substances offered for this purpose are utterly useless?