HC Deb 06 March 1941 vol 369 cc998-9
14. Mr. E. Smith

asked the Home Secretary whether any report has as yet been made regarding the best means of draining Anderson shelters by the experts dealing with the question?

Mr. H. Morrison

I have just received, and am considering, a report on these investigations.

Mr. Smith

When my right hon. Friend has considered this report, will he take steps to see that it is drawn to the attention of local authorities and other people concerned?

Mr. Morrison

Certainly. I am anxious to convey all possible advice to the local authorities. We have done so up to date, and if this report makes further suggestions, my hon. Friend may be sure that I will communicate with the local authorities at once.

19. Captain Cunningham-Reid

asked the Home Secretary whether, in order further to promote the Government's policy of dispersal, he will acquire powers to disallow the use of all public shelters that have a capacity of over 200 which do not fulfil the required standard of protection?

Mr. Morrison

I assume that my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind places which, though not provided as shelters by the local authorities, are used by the public in air raids. As my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary explained in the Debate on 27th February, I am looking into the question of dealing with this matter by a Defence Regulation.

Captain Cunningham-Reid

Is my right hon. Friend aware, to give just one example, that in one air-raid shelter over 5,000 people were crowded together, and that this particular shelter is situated under an important military objective?

Mr. Morrison

I am not aware of that particular case, but the hon. and gallant Member knows that it is a little difficult to avoid places which are not military objectives in the opinion of the Nazis. I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that life is not as simple for me as it is evidently for him.

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