HC Deb 12 December 1968 vol 775 cc564-5
33. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, as a matter of urgency, he will ask the Holroyd Committee on Fire Prevention for their report.

Mr. Callaghan

The Committee is fully aware of the importance of its fire prevention work, but its terms of reference are not confined to this subject and its report will have to be considered as a whole. I have recently seen Sir Ronald Holroyd and am satisfied that the Committee is pursuing its inquiries with all reasonable speed.

Mr. Hannan

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. He will recall the recent disastrous fire in Glasgow, which caused loss of life, and several incidents since. In view of the need for uniformity in the inspection of factories and warehouses, as between the Factories Acts and the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act, will he give an assurance that he will continue to press the Committee for its report and find an early place for it in the legislative programme?

Mr. Callaghan

I discovered when I spoke to Sir Ronald Holroyd, who came to see me, that he was fully aware of the anxiety felt in the House about recent fires. My hon. Friend, who asked about this matter previously, will know that there is to be a public inquiry before a sheriff and a jury into the recent Glasgow warehouse fire, which no doubt can take into account what is being done.

Mr. Buck

Was the Secretary of State able to elicit from Sir Ronald when the Committee was likely to report, because I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will be aware that many reforms within the fire service are being held up pending the Committee's report, which is now long awaited?

Mr. Callaghan

Yes; Sir Ronald gave me an indication as to when he thought the report could be made.