HC Deb 16 July 1941 vol 373 cc611-2W
Mr. Silkin

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a considerable number of residential properties in urban areas are being used as furniture repositories; that the fire risk is thereby materially increased; and whether he will consider giving local authorities effective control over the use of such property?

Miss Wilkinson

Residential properties used as furniture repositories are treated as business premises under the Fire Prevention Orders and the occupier is responsible for making proper and adequate arrangements in regard to fire prevention. Where arrangements cannot be made without the assistance of the local authority, the authority may assume control under Defence Regulation 27B (3) to such an extent as it considers necessary of any arrangements made by the occupier.

Mr. Emery

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the attitude of a Congregational minister in Scunthorpe regarding fire-watching services, of which he has been informed; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?

Miss Wilkinson

No persons are exempt from registration under the Civil Defence Duties (Compulsory Enrolment) Order, 1941, except those falling in certain categories specified in the Schedule to the Order. These categories do not include ministers of religion. Any person not exempted who refuses to register renders himself liable to prosecution under the Defence Regulations.