HC Deb 07 February 1938 vol 331 cc691-2W
Captain Plugge

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the fact that it is not proposed to allow the children in elementary schools the opportunity of collective practice in the use of gas masks, he proposes to suggest that inquiries should at times be set on foot as to whether these children have really become familiar with the use of respirators under the arrangements made for other members of the family?

Mr. Lloyd

Under the draft regulations made under Section II (1) (c) of the Air Raid Precautions Act, 1937, local authorities will be responsible not only for making arrangements for the distribution of respirators to the public, but also for giving instruction and advice to the public as to air raid precautions generally, and it is contemplated that local authorities will make such arrangements as will ensure that children are afforded opportunities of becoming familiar with the use of respirators. The suggestion made by my hon. and gallant Friend will, however, be borne in mind.

Mr. Markham

asked the Home Secretary whether satisfactory arrangements have been made in Nottingham to protect the public in the event of air raids; and whether such arrangements include bombproof shelters in new housing areas?

Mr. Lloyd

I understand that in anticipation of statutory powers good progress has been made in Nottingham in the preparation of general precautions but as there has not been time for a formal scheme to be submitted I am not in a position to give particulars.

Mr. T. Morris

asked the Home Secretary whether he can make any statement on the value, use, and desirability of adopting generally the Mark IV respirator designed to lessen the risks of silicosis in coal-mining and other similar operations?

Mr. Lloyd

The Mark IV respirator is designed for use by workers in processes which expose them to danger to health through dust. The design which has been evolved as the result of prolonged research is considered to represent a considerable advance. It affords a high degree of protection combined with suitability for wear over sustained spells of active work. The respirator is likely to be of value over a wide field, but its adoption for use in particular processes, whether in coal-mining or otherwise, is a matter which will have to be considered in detail in the light of the particular circumstances and in consultation with the industries concerned.