§ Mr Wood
I beg to move, in page 6, line 27, at the end to insert:which shall be so placed as to be readily available for use".This Amendment is to give effect to the undertaking about the siting of firefighting appliances. It was suggested that these appliances should be readily accessible. I think the Committee agreed that accessibility was not the only criterion, so I hope the suggestion we make that they should be readily available will meet the point.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Mr Speaker
I think the Parliamentary Secretary might take with this Amendment the next one, in page 6, line 37, to leave out from " occupier " to " may " in line 38 and to insert:(5) Any requirement imposed by regulations made under subsection (2) of this section".
§ Mr. Wood
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That will be very convenient. The first Amendment is the important one, and the second is purely drafting and is necessary because of the new subsection which the first Amendment proposes to introduce.
The first Amendment is to carry out the undertaking which I gave in the Committee to amend Clause 8 in order to give my right hon. Friend the power to require in regulations the provision of efficient means of communicating with the fire brigade, to specify in regulations what means he would require for this purpose, and to require that people employed in the factories should be familiar with the methods to be used.
§ Mr. MacDermot
We of course welcome these Amendments, which meet the point we raised and discussed at some length in Committee. Once again the Minister finds it necessary to take powers to do these things by regulations because they are too intricate and complicated to write into the Bill itself. The only comment I make is to express the hope once again that this is a matter which will be dealt with speedily and that the Minister, as soon as possible when the Bill becomes law, will issue regulations under this power. It is an unhappy feature of Factories Acts legislation that there are still many Sections in which powers have been taken to make regulations, but nothing whatever has been done under them. I hope this will not be another of them.
§ Mr. C. Howell
Obviously it is not possible to put a further Amendment at this stage, but I should like the Parliamentary Secretary to realise that it is possible on second thoughts to read into this Amendment something which one does not read into it the first time. When I first saw the Amendment I thought it was a question of checking up and making a notification of a fire after a fire had taken place where, for instance, the factory people had put out the fire and this was to indicate to the fire authority a possibility of fire occurring there. That is caused by the use of the word notifying ". We can say that we have notified the fire brigade in the case of a fire which we have put out and we are telling the 933 fire brigade so as to make sure there is not another far more serious fire.
When the Bill goes to another place the Minister might have another look at it and consider using the word " calling " so that the provision would read:The Minister may make special regulations requiring means to be provided in any class or description of factory for calling the fire brigade in case of fire and requiring employed persons o be made familiar with their use.It might be said that there is a legal use of the word " notifying ", but, being a simple soul, I think we notify things;inch as notifiable diseases, which are notified to medical officers of health. I should like the Parliamentary Secretary to look at the drafting again.
§ Mr Wood
I shall certainly look at it. I cannot say that I think " calling " would be a great improvement on " notifying". The hon. Member said that he realised this only when he read it a second time. Perhaps that might be an argument for reading it only once. I think his suggestion for calling the fire brigade in case of fire might as easily be read, if one read that a second time, that where the fire had been put out the fire brigade might be called unnecessarily. I shall not argue the merits of the matter, but I shall look at it again.
§ Mr C. Howell
The Parliamentary Secretary will agree that we have this provision in lots of other cases. The police authorities have a red telephone which is used only for 999 calls. The Commissioner of Police could say that one calls the police by dialing 999, but that one does not notify the police.
§ Mr Reader Harris
It was, I my Amendment which the Minister accepted in principle in Committee. I am duly grateful to him for having done so and for implementing his promise by this Amendment, which I think an excellent one. The word "notifying" is well understood in fire brigade circles, local authority circles and, I think, factory circles. It does not mean sending a postcard to let the brigade know that there is a fire. That occurred only in the world of the late-lamented Rob Wilton. The wording of the Amendment, which follows the wording of my Amendment, suits me and I hope that it will suit the Committee.
§ Amendment agreed to.934
Further Amendment made: In page 6, line 37, leave out from " occupier " to " may " in line 38 and insert:
(5)Any requirement imposed by regulations made under subsection (2) of this section" [Mr. Wood.]