HC Deb 13 February 1941 vol 368 cc1506-7
66. Mr. Lathan

asked the Home Secretary what steps are being taken to see that the owners of blocks of flats take the necessary steps to provide adequate shelter for flat dwellers?

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Security (Miss Wilkinson)

I take it that my hon. Friend has in mind the case of flats occupied by those ineligible for free shelter. Section 30 of the Civil Defence Act, which made provision governing such cases, left the matter to be settled between the tenants and the landlord. I am making inquiries as to how this has worked out.

Mr. Lathan

Is the hon. Lady aware that in a considerable number of cases the tenants in blocks of flats are without reasonable or adequate protection?

Miss Wilkinson

If dwellers in such flats would communicate with us, they would help us in the inquiries which we are making.

Mr. Keeling

Is my hon. Friend not aware that I wrote three months ago on the matter and that I have not yet had a reply?

Sir Irving Albery

Is it not the case that all safe blocks of flats are being taken over by Government Departments?

73. Dr. Edith Summerskill

asked the Home Secretary whether any control is now exercised over the building of private air-raid shelters to see that they reach an approved standard?

Miss Wilkinson

Some cases have been brought to my notice where the shelters built on private account have been of anything but sound construction. Unfortunately, we have no means of knowing the extent of this practice, which has been limited to some extent by the scarcity of material.