HC Deb 28 February 1940 vol 357 cc2061-2
45. Mr. Mander

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider the advisability of appointing a Select Committee to inquire into and report on the under standings reached and the undertakings given, in the negotiations between local authorities and the Home Office with regard to the payment of grants in respect of air-raid precautions work for schools; by what authority and to what extent these have been varied; and to report on the position generally?

48. Mr. J. Morgan

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been drawn to a resolution passed by the Doncaster Education Committee on 19th February last asking for a Parliamentary Committee to be set up to examine certain relations entered into between the Home Department and local authorities concerning air-raid precautions; and whether he will move to appoint such a committee?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

No, Sir. I see no reason to set up a Select Committee such as is suggested by the hon. Members. The position in this matter has been clearly stated by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary in reply to Questions which have been addressed to him.

Mr. Mander

Is the Prime Minister aware that there is a good deal of feeling on this subject throughout the country, among local authorities, and could the right hon. Gentleman do something to make them feel that they have been justly treated?

The Prime Minister

I do not think that there is any foundation for the suggestion in the hon. Member's question.

Mr. Thorne

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that local authorities swear and declare that the Government have broken the agreement of 1937?

The Prime Minister

Perhaps the hon. Member is not aware that the Government swear and declare the opposite.

Mr. Thorne

If the right hon. Gentleman is not prepared to facilitate the arrangement, could he spend a little time in seeing a deputation?

The Prime Minister

I have not been asked to see a deputation.

Mr. J. Morgan

If the right hon. Gentleman receives representations of the kind indicated in the Question, will he look a little further into the matter, because of the growing dissatisfaction everywhere?

The Prime Minister

Representations have not been made to me; but they have probably been made to the Home Secretary.