HC Deb 18 January 1940 vol 356 cc248-9W
Mr. Gallacher

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that the village of Burnside, Fife, contains neither an air-raid shelter nor an air-raid warden, despite the fact that it is situated in a vulnerable position; that the proposal to provide individual shelters is unsatisfactory owing to the male population being employed on Saturdays and Sundays and unable to do the necessary work on them in the black-out; and what does he propose to remedy this situation?

Sir J. Anderson

I understand that work was started last week on three communal surface shelters for this village. The whole work of construction will be undertaken by the county council. The local employment situation has created difficulties in manning the wardens service, but difficulties of this kind have been overcome in other areas, and my officers are keeping in touch with the position.

Mr. Dunn

asked the Home Secretary to what extent the Anderson shelters have been purchased by persons in the country whose means were in excess of £250?

Sir J. Anderson

Facilities for the purchase of these shelters have hitherto been limited to 52 urban areas: and in these areas up to date the number of applications for purchase is 1,020 and the number of shelters actually purchased is 730.

Mr. Joel

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a large number of the Anderson steel shelters distributed in various towns have never been utilised by the people who have received them; and what action he is proposing to take in the matter?

Sir J. Anderson

Under Section 26 of the Civil Defence Act local authorities are empowered to erect these shelters with the consent of the householders who are eligible to receive them. In cases where a householder has failed either to erect the shelter himself or to ask the local authority to do so, the authority has been given discretionary power, after the lapse of a reasonable period, to reallocate the shelter to another householder.