HC Deb 18 May 1939 vol 347 cc1640-2W
Mr. Doland

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he can now give the House an approximate date when those persons who will not receive shelters free of charge will be able to obtain them from the manufac- turers at the same cost as that charged to the Government?

Sir J. Anderson

It has always been my intention that these shelters should be placed on sale as soon as a substantial portion of the free distribution had been completed. I am at present considering various proposals for accelerating the rate of production, and as soon as it is possible to fix a date on which the shelters can be made available for purchase without prejudicing the progress of the free distribution I will make a further announcement regarding the price and method of sale. I cannot at present give any indication of the date when these arrangements may be brought into force.

Mr. Poole

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether he can state the manufacturing cost of the steel shelters; what is the average contract price paid by the Government for these shelters; and at what price are they available to the general public desiring to purchase them singly?

Sir J. Anderson

As regards the first two parts of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave on the 16th May to a question by the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Stokes). As regards the last part of the question, I would refer to the reply which I have just given to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Balham and Tooting (Mr. Doland).

Mr. C. Brown

asked the Lord Privy Seal how many steel shelters had been delivered to the end of April; how many had been distributed; and the names of the firm, or firms, who had made deliveries up to that date?

Sir J. Anderson

These shelters are being distributed as rapidly as the component parts are delivered by the manufacturers. The total number distributed to the end of April was 357,000. The Home Office contract is with the British Iron and Steel Corporation, and about 90 different firms are engaged in making one or more of the components of the shelters.

Sir I. Albery

asked the Lord Privy Seal what estimate has been made by his Department of the average probable cost to local authorities of erecting an Anderson shelter?

Sir J. Anderson

My hon. Friend will appreciate that the cost of erecting a steel shelter differs very widely according to place and circumstances, and I doubt whether it would be useful to attempt to frame an estimate of the average cost.