HC Deb 28 April 1966 vol 727 cc919-20
1. Mr. Hazell

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why the oxygen breathing apparatus issued to firemen who died at the Neatishead, Norfolk, radar station fire in February failed to protect them.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Miss Alice Bacon)

My right hon. Friend and I deeply regret this tragedy and would like to express our sympathy with the relatives of the three firemen who died. However, I understand that the inquest into their deaths stands adjourned until today and it would therefore not he proper for me to comment on the circumstances at this stage.

Mr. Hazell

While thanking my right hon. Friend for her reply, may I ask whether, in view of the widespread concern in Norfolk, she will give sympathetic consideration to the holding of a public inquiry?

Miss Bacon

Yes, we will certainly keep in mind the possibility of holding a public inquiry, but I am not sure my hon. Friend appreciates I am not in a position today to make any statement about it.

Sir C. Mott-Radclyffe

Will the right hon. Lady agree that neither the Norfolk Fire Service nor, for that matter, any other can afford to lose men of the calibre and great experience of the inspector from Holt and his two colleagues who lost their lives in such tragic circumstances?

Miss Bacon

Yes, I fully agree with those sentiments.