HC Deb 20 April 1964 vol 693 cc849-50
7. Sir B. Janner

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works, in view of the stress laid on standards of flammability for materials used in walls and ceilings under the new Building Regulations, Command Paper No. 2279, how many machines are in existence in the United Kingdom at the present time for testing the flammability of materials.

Mr. Sharples

The appropriate British Standard lays down the test procedure for the surface spread of flame on materials used as wall and ceiling linings, and also describes a preliminary test useful for manufacturers. There is one full-scale testing appliance in operation in the United Kingdom, at the Fire Research Station; and I understand that a further appliance, to be operated by a firm of consultants, is being commissioned. I am informed that the preliminary test is operated by about 12 other laboratories.

Sir B. Janner

In view of the drastic nature of these Regulations, is the Minister satisfied that only one of these machines should be available? Surely he must have some arrangement to cope with the Regulations, both those that exist at present and those likely to come into force?

Mr. Sharples

The new Regulations have not yet been published. We have only the report of the Advisory Committee. If there are delays in future my right hon. Friend would certainly be prepared to consult with his right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science to see how best to consider this, but at the moment there are not delays.