§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
THE EARL OF ONSLOW
My Lords, this Bill, the Second Reading of which I now move, is based upon the recommendations of a Departmental Committee which sat in 1913, of which the noble Earl, Lord Plymouth, was Chairman. The legislation which was recommended by that Committee was delayed owing to the war, but temporary provision was made in London, and in some of the large towns, by the Defence of the Realm Regulations. Since that time London and Liverpool have obtained local Acts, but in the other towns nothing has been done except what was done under the Defence of the Realm Regulations, which are now lapsing. The Bill deals with premises where raw celluloid or cinematograph film is stored. Cinematograph film theatres are regulated by an Act of 1899, while factories are regulated by the Factories and Workshops Act. A Royal Commission is at present considering the whole question of fire risk and losses in wholesale shops and warehouses, and it is thought better to await the Report of this Commission before embarking upon legislation regarding those places.
The general effect of the Bill is fourfold. The premises must be notified to the local authority, who have power of inspection. The local authority will be empowered, under the Bill, to require reasonable means of fire escape, and premises must be constructed and situated so as to minimise danger to adjoining premises. The precautions against fire set out in the Schedule must also be observed. The Bill is generally asked for by local authorities, and I trust your Lordships will give it a Second Reading.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Onslow.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.