HC Deb 05 July 1960 vol 626 cc216-7
26. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will, as a matter of urgency, take whatever steps are necessary, legislative and administrative, to ensure adequate and efficient systems of fire prevention, fire warning and fire escape in shops, offices and warehouses.

Mr. Maclay

My colleagues and I are reviewing the matter, but I am afraid that I am not in a position to make any statement today.

Mr. Hannan

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that fire prevention officers at the moment cannot tender advice unless they are invited by the proprietors, and that in various areas there is doubt about which is the responsible authority? In view of the urgency of this matter, as exemplified in Liverpool and elsewhere, will he bear in mind that fire risks obtain in warehouses other than bonded warehoues?

Mr. Maclay

I am very well aware of the urgency of this situation and I have been trying to get over, by public statement, the desirability that proprietors of warehouses should consult the fire officers about safety precautions.

Mr. Ross

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that the Select Committee on Estimates drew the attention of the Minister responsible to the importance of this seven years ago? Are we to take it that nothing has been done?

Mr. Maclay

There are various powers in various Acts which apply to certain types of premises, but we are examining the whole question urgently.