HC Deb 13 October 1942 vol 383 cc1471-2
21. Major Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will state the proportion of air-raid shelters in Glasgow which have been deliberately damaged and their amenities destroyed through the action of youthful delinquents?

Mr. Johnston

Approximately 40 per cent. of the public surface shelters in Glasgow have been damaged. There can be no doubt that the damage generally has been needless and wanton, but I cannot say what proportion of the damage has been done by juvenile delinquents.

Major Lloyd

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that this state of affairs is most deplorable and is he not aware that in many wards rumour has it that there are no public shelters that can be used owing to their condition, many of their amenities having been completely destroyed; and will he give an assurance to the House that he will not allow the Glasgow authorities to adopt a defeatist attitude on this matter? Are we correct in understanding they will not go ahead with trying to improve the situation by providing fresh amenities and will leave the situation as it is?

Mr. Johnston

I understand that negotiations are already in progress between the Corporation of Glasgow and the District Commissioner for Civil Defence and I have every reason to believe that they are proceeding amicably and that the Corporation do intend to take whatever steps are within their power to limit the amount of destruction which has taken place.

Mrs. Hardie

Is the Minister not aware that almost all big cities and towns are having the same difficulty?

Mr. Johnston

No, Sir, that is not my information.

Mr. McKinlay

Can we be assured that when a penalty which is supposed to meet the offence is imposed in Glasgow police court there will be no interference from the Scottish Office?