HC Deb 30 March 1961 vol 637 cc1510-1
27. Mrs. Braddock

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give a direction to the Technical Sub-Committee of the Joint Fire Prevention Committee of the Central Fire Brigades' Advisory Councils for England and Wales and for Scotland that, when framing recommendations for guidance to fire authorities on fire safety precautions in large departmental stores following the Henderson fire in Liverpool, they should avail themselves of the assistance of technical officers of the Liverpool Corporation and the Liverpool Fire Authority who, as a result of practical experience gained at the Henderson fire, might be able to give advice to this Sub-Committee in framing a suitable code of precautions.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Renton)

While it would not be appropriate for my right hon. Friend to tell the Sub-Committee to seek advice from any particular source, he is in no doubt that it will ensure that it has full information about the Henderson fire.

Mrs. Braddock

Is the Joint Under-Secretary aware that up to the time I tabled this Question, although the Liverpool authority and the fire authority had requested the right to make a statement to the Sub-Committee, they had received no reply, only an acknowledgment? Is he aware that only two days ago there was another fire in one of the newly-built shops in the Liverpool area, which underlines the need for some additional information regarding building and fire precautions in premises and shops? In view of this, will he think again about giving the Sub-Committee directions to receive information and obtain advice from those who know about this subject?

Mr. Renton

No. It is for the Sub-Committee itself to decide what information it needs. The hon. Lady will remember that the chairman of the Technical Sub-Committee is Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Fire Services and that he examined the Henderson fire. He visited the site and reported. I have no doubt that he and other members of the Committee will take note of the points which the hon. Lady has made, but we must leave it to the Committee.