§ 15. Mr. Bossom
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has yet notified the Minister of Supply of all the cases where Anderson shelters, bolts and nuts are rusting away in the possession of the local authorities and are waiting to be collected.
§ Mr. Bossom
Does the Minister understand the importance of the collection of these shelters, and is he satisfied that his fellow Ministers are doing their utmost in this direction? Does he know that it is possible to go from Victoria to Maidstone and look out of the windows and see vast piles of these materials?
§ Sir Frank Sanderson
Would the Home Secretary also consider giving instructions as to what should be done with the gas masks now held by the public?
§ 19. Mr. Grey
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give particulars of the number of persons employed in the demolition of public, domestic and school air-raid shelters; and whether, in view of the existing shortage of manpower in industry, he will order an immediate cessation of this work in order that the persons engaged thereat might be employed in more important work.
§ Mr. Ede
The number of men so engaged is approximately 12,000, a substantial proportion of whom are liable to be discharged to work of higher priority as and when vacancies occur. The work now in progress consists very largely of the removal of structures which are dangerous or objectionable on traffic and other grounds and of the recovery of much needed steel shelter material, and the continuance of the work is considered desirable in the public interest.
§ Mr. Bossom
Would the Home Secretary consult the Secretary of State for War to see if he could not use some military labour for this unskilled work?