HC Deb 18 March 1957 vol 567 cc13-4
23. Mr. Edelman

asked the Minister of Supply what steps he is taking to safeguard the former shadow factories of which he is proprietor against fire; and, in particular, what measures he has taken to replace or protect the highly inflammable insulating board with which the roofs are in many cases lined.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (Mr. W. J. Taylor)

It is the responsibility of the occupiers to take any necessary precautions against fire, but my right hon. Friend has arranged for them to be reminded of this.

Mr. Edelman

While welcoming that reply, may I ask the Parliamentary Secretary whether he will bear in mind that the violent spread of the number of catastrophic factory fires in recent years has been directly attributable to the use of untreated insulating boards, and though he is not directly responsible in a technical sense as a proprietor, will he not arrange for a special survey to be made of the former shadow factories Which are actually in his own responsibility?

Mr. Taylor

That Question anticipates consideration of the Reports referred to by my hon. Friend the Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department on 7th March, 1957, in reply to the hon. Member for Coventry, South (Miss Burton), but I would say that, as regards the factories which are operated by the Ministry of Supply, countermeasures have been taken in all the Royal Ordnance Factories in which any risk may be thought to exist. But a further review is being undertaken of these and other premises occupied by the Ministry. This review will take some time to complete and, even then, it should not be assumed that protective measures will necessarily be applied.

Mr. Nabarro

In these circumstances, will my hon. Friend have full regard to the conditions of the Thermal Insulation (Industrial Buildings) Bill, which received its Second Reading on Friday last and bears directly on the Question asked by the hon. Member for Coventry, North (Mr. Edelman)?

Mr. Taylor

I am sure that it would be improper for me to anticipate any future legislation in this House.

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