HC Deb 08 November 1939 vol 353 c243W
Mr. Isaacs

asked the Home Secretary whether the negotiations with the South-wark Borough Council with reference to the use as an air-raid shelter of the disused tube railway tunnel have now been brought to a completion; and whether instructions have been given for the work in this connection to be put in hand?

Mr. Mabane

This is a scheme of a quite special kind. My right hon. Friend is assured by the borough council that the disused tunnel can, within a short space of time, at reasonable cost, and with due economy of labour and materials, be made available for shelter purposes; and that, in their considered view, the problem of finding sufficient and suitable shelter in this busy part of the Borough of Southwark would be difficult to solve on other lines. My right hon. Friend has, therefore, decided that, if the borough council are able to make a satisfactory agreement with the London Passenger Transport Board and can arrange for the work to be done on the terms they have indicated to him, they may proceed with the scheme; and the council are being informed accordingly.

Colonel Baldwin-Webb

asked the Home Secretary whether he can give an assurance that an employer with over 50 employes, who provides an air-raid shelter for these employes in accordance with the Civil Defence Act, will not have it taken away and used as a public shelter, with or without compensation, by the local authority under the Emergency Regulations?

Mr. Mabane

It would be contrary to the sense of the instructions which local authorities have received if they exercised the powers delegated to them under the Defence Regulations in such a way as to interfere with the use of shelters provided, and required, for the accommodation of employes in factories or commercial buildings. If my hon. and gallant Friend has any case in mind and will send my right hon. Friend particulars, he will examine it.