HC Deb 30 May 1940 vol 361 cc670-1W
Mr. Mort

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that his instruction to the air-raid precautions committee in Swansea to advertise for tenders for the erection of air-raid shelters is causing some concern, the general opinion being that, with the enemy virtually at our door, a more direct and expeditious method should have been employed; and will he bear this in mind when issuing similar instructions in the future?

Sir J. Anderson

I presume that my hon. Friend is referring to the Swansea Borough Council's proposals for the erection of communal surface shelters. As the estimated cost of carrying out this work by direct labour materially exceeded the rates recommended by my Department, it was thought advisable to call for tenders. It is obvious that in present circumstances speed of construction is vitally important, and my Department, while continuing to have regard to the need for economy, will keep this consideration very much in mind.

Mr. Stokes

asked the Home Secretary what price he is now paying for the standard air-raid precautions shelter which, in June, 1939, was costing his Department £7?

Sir J. Anderson

In view of the increased demands for steel for more urgent war purposes, production of these steel shelters has now ceased.

Mr. Noel-Baker

asked the Home Secretary whether he is satisfied that the local authorities have made an adequate provision of air-raid shelters in the Metropolitan and urban districts of the country?

Sir J. Anderson

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave this afternoon to a Question by the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent (Mr. E. Smith).