HC Deb 20 July 1944 vol 402 cc330-1
20. Mr. G. Strauss

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can say who, or what organisation, is principally responsible for allocating tickets for the deep shelters; whether any steps were taken to ascertain if bombed-out people in rest centres required shelter accommodation; and whether there are still bunks available in all the shelters for families who may be bombed out and require sleeping quarters.

Mr. H. Morrison

As I explained in the answers which I gave on 13th July to Questions by my hon. Friend the Member for Kennington (Mr. Wilmot), tickets for the substantial residue of accommodation remaining, after the transfer of the existing tube station population, are made available to appropriate local authorities, who have undertaken the responsibility for distributing them to individual residents in their areas. Local authorities have been instructed that the tickets are intended for persons without adequate shelter, preference being given to those who have lost their homes. The procedure adopted is to invite applications by a notice posted outside the local authority's offices, and this applies equally to occupants of rest centres.

Mr. Strauss

Is the Home Secretary aware that some local authorities issued all the tickets that were given to them originally, and that they have no tickets available for people who need them now? What is to happen to these people? Were the original tickets issued altogether, and is there any chance of people who have been, or may be, bombed out getting into the shelters?

Mr. Morrison

I am much obliged to the hon. Member for not referring to the local authority. If he will let me have particulars, I will see what I can do about it. There have been imperfections on the part of some local authorities, but one has to be generous. I will see what can be done.

Mr. Bowles

How many deep shelters are there, and are they all opened?

Mr. Morrison

I think that that has been announced, but I forget the exact particulars at the moment. The programme is going along all right.

Mr. Bowles

Will the right hon. Gentleman have them all opened as soon as he can?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, as soon as I can.

Mr. Astor

Is there any prospect of any of these shelters being opened by day, to allow people on night work to get some sleep?

Mr. Morrison

That is under consideration. I am afraid there are some difficulties because cleaning and so on have to be done, but I have not closed my mind on the point.

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