HC Deb 30 January 1941 vol 368 c687W
Mr. E. Smith

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the need for guidance and information to be available at once after an air raid, for a better organisation of the rest centres with a paid person in authority, for adequate equipment, hot and cold water, for a more sympathetic treatment of the people affected, for the removal of all personal property to new houses or buildings at once; and what steps have, or are being taken, to deal with these problems and to speed up the machinery?

Mr. M. MacDonald

Instructions were issued in September, 1940, that at every rest centre there should be an officer responsible for giving guidance and information to the homeless. Local authorities have been asked also to set up information centres at which those who have suffered loss from air raids may obtain advice. The instructions issued last September indicated also that adequate staff, where necessary paid and with definite rotas of duty, must at once be allocated to every rest centre, that adequate equipment must be provided and that, in general, the standard of comfort at the centres must be brought up to a proper level. An intensive survey of the arrangements for the homeless has been carried out over the last two months, and assistance given, by my Department's Inspectors.

My right hon. Friend, the Minister of Home Security has requested local authorities to assist as may be required with the removal of personal property from damaged buildings and with its protection where necessary; and I understand that this whole question is under constant review.

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