HC Deb 23 March 1939 vol 345 cc1471-3W
Mr. Alan Herbert

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he is aware that, so far, all deliveries of Government air-raid shelters have been by rail, notwithstanding that Wolverhampton and Walsall, from which shelters are being despatched, are connected with London and other parts of the country by canal; and, as this is the cheapest form of transport, will he see that in future contracts provision will be made for delivery by canal?

Sir J. Anderson

No single manufacturer is producing a complete shelter. The production of the various parts comprising a shelter has been arranged with about 90 firms, spread over the country. The task of collecting these component parts from the works and of synchronising the arrival of complete sets with the minimum delay in transit and without intermediate handling and storage at a number of points from which delivery can be made by short haul to householders is regarded as an operation not suited to the canal transport system and has been arranged with the railway companies.

Mr. Crowder

asked the Lord Privy Seal what is the relative position of tenants in buildings in which the only possible accommodation for air-raid shelters to be constructed is in the basement, which is occupied by a different firm from the tenants, occupying the upper storeys of the building; and will he take steps to ensure that the upper tenants obtain the right to make use of a shelter constructed in the basement, either by payment of a consideration or otherwise?

Sir J. Anderson:

The Civil Defence Bill, which I am introducing to-day, will deal with the provision of air-raid shelters in commercial buildings occupied by a number of different firms; and I would ask my hon. Friend to await the publication of that Bill.

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