HC Deb 27 January 1944 vol 396 cc843-4
30. Dr. Haden Guest

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what has been the response to the offer made under his authority of the repair or replacement of anti-gas respirators by the Civil Defence services for the civilian population.

Mr. H. Morrison

I have no statistical information yet, but the indications are, I fear, that the response has been small. I am glad of this opportunity of reminding the public of the ever-present need for being sure that their respirators are in order. The charges for repair are being waived this month and in February.

Dr. Guest

Is it not a fact that the danger of a gas attack on industrial establishments and cities still continues, and will not the right hon. Gentleman issue an urgent warning to the public of the necessity of maintaining their respirators in proper order, as a matter for the protection not only of themselves but the whole community?

Mr. Morrison

It is of course the case, as my hon. Friend says, that gas attacks are possible. I hope that the question he has put and the answer I have given will serve as a warning to the public.

Sir H. Holdsworth

Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to use the advertisement columns in the Press? Money is spent on things that do not matter, and this subject does matter.

Mr. Morrison

The Press have been very good in giving publicity to the matter, and I am sure they will continue to co-operate with us.

General Sir George Jeffreys

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if he really wants to get the respirators inspected and put in order he will have to exercise some measure of compulsion?

Dr. Guest

Will my right hon. Friend extend the time for the repair or the exchange of respirators in the London area, which has already expired? Only a fortnight, I think, was given?

Mr. Morrison

I think all the areas were the same, but I will look into that point. Regarding the point put by my hon. and gallant Friend, that has been considered but there are difficulties about it. I do not want to make Defence Regulations if I can avoid doing so.