HC Deb 10 April 1941 vol 370 cc1703-4W
Mr. Stokes

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that instructions have been given that surface shelters built with lime mortar may be deeply scraped and grouted with cement mortar; whether experiments have proved this method to be satisfactory; and how long the lime mortar takes to set hard?

Miss Wilkinson

My hon. Friend has not quoted quite accurately the instructions to which he refers. This measure was not prescribed for general adoption but was limited to cases where defects existed only to a mild degree. As explained in the answer which my right hon. Friend gave to a Question by the hon. Member for West Fife (Mr. Gallacher) on 20th March, the object was to prevent the entry of water and frost into the joints of the brickwork and we are satisfied that the treatment is effective for this purpose. As regards the last part of the Question, the time which the mortar takes to set depends upon the lime, the mixture, the workmanship and the weather and I am advised that it is not possible to indicate any average time.

Mr. A. Edwards

asked the Home Secretary what applications he has received from manufacturers for approval of designs of proprietary types of indoor shelter or for allocations of controlled materials for such manufacture; and whether he can make any statement on the matter?

Miss Wilkinson

Yes, Sir; a great many such applications have reached my Department and in the interests of the public I have decided that it is desirable to make arrangements for examination, testing and approval of private designs of shelter which may serve to supplement the Government constructional programme already announced. A suitable announcement is being sent to the technical firms; and a leaflet giving all the details of the scheme is available on application to the Research and Experiments Department of the Ministry of Home Security. I think I should add that the Government programme has itself virtually exhausted the supplies of steel available for the construction of all steel indoor shelters.