HC Deb 23 January 1941 vol 368 cc312-3W
Sir F. Fremantle

asked the Minister of Health what administrative steps have been taken to improve conditions in the shelters of the East End of London?

Mr. M. MacDonald

My hon. Friend will recall the recent arrangements under which there was some readjustment of responsibilities between the Ministry of Home Security and my Department, and administrative responsibility for shelter matters was delegated to the regional commissioners. My hon. Friend the Member for Bow and Bromley (Mr. Key) has been appointed as a commissioner with special responsibility for shelter problems in London, a choice of individual which could not be bettered. Very active steps are being taken by the regional organisation to secure that conditions in every shelter are brought up to a satisfactory standard as speedily as possible, and frequent inspections of individual shelters are being made for this purpose by medical, engineering and other experts.

Mr. Parker

asked the Minister of Health whether he can arrange for a number of shelters used for sleeping to be set aside in bombed areas for the use of those suffering from tuberculosis who are not ill enough to be excluded from shelters under the present regulations?

Mr. MacDonald

In addition to taking power to exclude a tuberculous person from a public shelter if his presence in the shelter is likely to be dangerous to other shelterers, I have made certain suggestions to local authorities for dealing with this problem. The responsibility for safeguarding the public health in any particular area rests in the first instance on the medical officer of health for the area, and I have no doubt that he will take steps to secure the provision of alternative shelter accommodation for any tuberculous persons for whom he thinks such provision is necessary in the public interest.

Major Lloyd

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the proportion of brick surface-shelters in the Glasgow area which are still without lights; the proportion that are still without doors; the proportion that are still without seats; and the proportion which still have no sanitary accommodation?

Mr. E. Brown

The percentage of the brick surface public shelters in Glasgow without lights is 91, without doors is 2, and without seats is 74. With regard to sanitary accommodation closets for 92 per cent. of the shelters on a scale of one per shelter are available and are at present being installed. Early delivery of further closets to bring the number up to two per shelter is expected. The deficiency in the lighting and seating arrangements has been due to difficulties experienced by the Corporation in obtaining supplies of materials.