HC Deb 15 November 1939 vol 353 cc727-8W
Mr. Windsor

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that, because of the alteration in the Hull air-raid warning system, it will be more difficult for factory workers and children playing in the streets to take effective cover, since there will not be a sufficient interval between the sounding of the warnings and the commencement of gunfire to allow of the warnings being clearly heard, if heard at all; and whether, in the interests of public safety, he will order an investigation of the Hull system, with special attention to the desirability of instituting a 75-miles warning radius?

Mr. Mabane

The air-raid warning system in force in Hull, and the considerations governing its operation, are the same as in the rest of the country. The policy announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Air in his statement on 25th October, to which I would refer the hon. Member, does not involve any alteration in the time allowed for taking shelter when the available in-

Civil Defence 1939.
Service. Original Estimate. Supplementary Estimate. Total.
£ £ £
Air Raid Precautionary Services 42,190,707 16,999,990 59,190,697*
Essential Commodities Reserves Fund 5,000,000 5,000,000
Reserve of Merchant Ships 2,100,000 2,100,000
Reserve of Agricultural Machinery 1,250,000 1,250,000
Emergency Hospitals, Evacuation etc (England). 8,091,000 8,091,000
Emergency Hospitals, Evacuation etc. (Scotland). 2,239,150 2,239,150
Reserve of Plant and Building Materials 1,000,000 1,000,000
47,190,707 31,680,140 78,870,847

*Met from Consolidated Fund under Defence Loans Acts 1937 and 1939 £48,680,000
Met from Votes £10,510,697

formation indicates that an air attack may be expected in the districts to which the warning is given.

Mr. Price

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that head wardens of Village posts have not been receiving yellow warnings recently; and whether, in view of the difficulty in being ready for air-raids without sufficient warning, he will inquire into this matter as it affects country districts with a view to some modification?

Sir J. Anderson

The Preliminary Caution or "yellow" message is issued only to certain recipients who require a longer period to take essential action than that given by the Action Warning. The question of the extent to which the message should be transmitted to personnel in the Air-Raid Precautions services is now under consideration, and any special factors affecting country districts will be carefully examined.