HC Deb 27 February 1941 vol 369 cc644-6W
Squadron-Leader Fleming

asked the Minister of Health what powers are vested in marshals of shelters for coping with any undesirable persons who are found in shelters and about whom other users complain?

Mr. E. Brown

Shelter wardens have power to exclude a person from a shelter on various grounds, for instance, that he is in such a condition as to Be dangerous or offensive to other persons using the shelter. In addition, the shelter wardens are responsible for enforcing the rules with respect to the management of, and conduct of persons in public shelters which the Regional Commissioner may have made.

Mr. Palmer

asked the Home Secretary what number of local authorities had carried out their duties in constructing and equipping approved air-raid shelters prior to 19th October, 1940; what number had failed to do so; and whether he will state the names of those authorities falling in the later category?

Mr. H. Morrison

It is not practicable to divide local authorities into categories of the kinds suggested by my hon. Friend. The programme of provision of air-raid shelters is a continuing one which requires constant review and adaptation in the light of changing circumstances. It is no doubt true that for various reasons at any given time one local authority has made more progress than another, but there would be few, if any, local authorities which at the date mentioned did not find it necessary to a greater or smaller extent to embark on new plans.

Mr. Palmer

asked the Home Secretary what would be the cost of reimbursing local authorities who carried out their duties to construct and equip approved air-raid shelters prior to 19th October, 1940, if Circular 262/1940 were made retrospective?

Mr. Morrison

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by the Joint Parliamentary Secretary to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon (Sir R. Blair) on 25th February.

Mr. Groves

asked the Home Secretary (1) whether he is aware that the land in and around a district of which he has been informed, is so waterlogged that sunken steel shelters, although treated with concrete bases and bitumen within are half filled with water and useless; what alternative arrangements he proposes to make with the urban district council respecting a more efficient type of structure; and what provision will be made to meet the cost connected therewith;

(2) what progress has been made in the provision of an efficient type of shelter in an area of which he has been informed; what proportion of the inhabitants have been so supplied; and whether, in future, as the area is waterlogged, the use of Anderson steel shelters, even when treated with concrete bases and bitumen within, will be discontinued except on the high-level ground?

Mr. Morrison

I am aware that difficulties are still being experienced in the district in question owing to the flooding of steel shelters, of which no more are now being delivered. I am informed that remedial measures have been successful in a proportion of cases and will be persevered with in others until the shelters have been made good. The domestic shelter programme of the district is being completed with surface shelters, about half of the necessary constructional work having already been done; nearly a quarter of the eligible population will be provided for by shelter of this type. The cost of such provision is reimbursed by the Exchequer.

Mr. White

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of the returns made by the clerk to the Corporation of London by city firms of available shelter accommodation on their premises; and to what extent use has been made of the information?

Mr. Morrison

I am aware of the returns referred to. The information obtained, which is being kept up to date, has been of great value and has disclosed a reserve of shelter which can be brought into use as circumstances require.

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