HC Deb 21 June 1955 vol 542 c1120
20. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now instruct local authorities to proceed with the demolition of surface air-raid shelters.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

No, Sir. As stated in the White Paper on Defence, the Government are at present reviewing their policy on shelter. Until this review is complete, it would be unwise to embark on a programme of shelter demolition.

Mr. Hannan

Does not the Under-Secretary recognise that these shelters are now becoming quite filthy and a complete public nuisance, and are unlikely to be used to serve the purpose for which they were originally intended, by virtue of the new circumstances of atom bombs, and the rest?

Mr. Stewart

I think the hon. Gentleman knows that in cases where it is shown that shelters are unhealthy or against the interests of public health, steps are taken to demolish them. If hon. Gentlemen know of particular cases, I shall be prepared to look into them.

Mr. Strachey

Does the Under-Secretary really think that surface air-raid shelters from the last war have any possible use in a nuclear period? Does he not think that it is fantastic to keep them?

Mr. Stewart

I do not think it would be wise to adopt the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman and to abolish them all. They are, after all, shelters of some kind, and they are better than no shelters.