HC Deb 25 January 1945 vol 407 cc950-1
18. Major Sir Jocelyn Lucas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to ensure that unmarked bomb craters are immediately fenced off; and if he compensates persons sustaining injury when this is not done.

Mr. H. Morrison

I have no reason to think that prompt steps are not taken to fence off the area surrounding any bomb crater to which the public would otherwise have ready access. I shall, however, be happy to inquire into any case where my hon. and gallant Friend has reason to think there has been neglect. In one or two instances where persons have suffered injury through falling into unfenced craters on highways ex gratia payments have been made by individual local authorities with the agreement of this Department, but each case falls to be decided on its merits and no general liability to pay compensation in such cases can be admitted.

Sir J. Lucas

In view of the fact that in one particular case, where the fencing was done after a person received injuries, the local authority and all Government Departments denied responsibility, can the right hon. Gentleman advise me as to how to proceed?

Mr. Morrison

If my hon. and gallant Friend will let me have particulars of the case, I will look into it.

Sir Irving Albery

Can the right hon. Gentleman say who is responsible for filling in craters in rural areas?

Mr. Morrison

I should imagine it would be one or other of the local authorities, but unless I have particulars of an individual case, I cannot say offhand.