HC Deb 10 July 1941 vol 373 cc296-7
35. Dr. Russell Thomas

asked the Minister of Health, whether he has decided to carry out any further delegation of his Civil Defence functions to Regional Commissioners, as recommended in the Fourteenth Report of the Select Committee on National Expenditure?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Ernest Brown)

Yes, Sir. I informed the Regional Commissioners on 23rd June that after consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Home Security we had come to the conclusion that executive responsibility for all services the Ministerial responsibility for which is at present divided between his Department and mine should be delegated to Commissioners in order to ensure single control in the region, and that I had accordingly decided, subject to any directions which it might be necessary for me to give on matters of policy, to delegate responsibility for the first-aid posts and A.R.P. ambulance services forthwith. The position therefore is that the Commissioners now have the same authority in relation to those services as they already have in relation to the first-aid party and rescue party services for which my right hon. Friend is responsible.

Mr. Lindsay

Are first-aid posts and ambulances in the new delegation?

Mr. Brown

The Question was precise, and the Answer I have given was precise.

Mr. Lipson

Will my right hon. Friend consider extending the administrative powers of his officers?

Mr. Brown

I have delegated considerable powers to my senior regional officers, subject to my directions on matters of policy.