HC Deb 12 March 1941 vol 369 cc1293-4W
Mr. G. Macdonald

asked the Home Secretary in what organs of the Press the instructions for fire-fighting were inserted; and whether it was on his instructions that the British Broadcasting Corporation were asked to call special attention to their inclusion in the Sunday newspapers of 2nd March, 1941?

Mr. Mabane

An advertisement setting out instructions for dealing with fire bombs was inserted in all national and provincial Sunday newspapers on 2nd March: and owing to the urgent importance of making the instruction known to as many people as possible, the cooperation of the B.B.C. was sought, through the Ministry of Information, in bringing the announcement to the notice of the public in advance.

Mr. Naylor

asked the Home Secretary whether he will make a statement defining the position of voluntary street-party tire-watchers who decline to sign the official form issued by the local authority?

Mr. H. Morrison

It is assumed that the persons referred to are those who are not prepared to give at least 48 hours a month to fire prevention duties as members of a local authority's Civil Defence Organisation, Such persons are not now eligible for equipment as issued to enrolled members of a local authority's fire prevention parties and do not rank as Civil Defence Volunteers for purposes of compensation.

They are, however, eligible for compensation under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme in respect of injuries sustained as a direct result of enemy action.

Mr. Groves

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that in and around Kensington many large houses are left uninhabited and unprotected; and whether, in view of the danger from incendiary bombs, he will take steps to ensure, for public safety, that all such owners comply with the necessary safety precautions?

Mr. Morrison

Where directions have been given under Defence Regulation 27B, it is the duty of the local authority to make and carry out arrangements for dealing with incendiary bomb attacks on residential premises in their area. As has already been pointed out, from the point of view of effective organisation of fire prevention the obligation must be placed upon the occupier. Where the house is unoccupied, arrangements must be made by the local authority. I have issued advice in regard to the safety precautions which should be taken in the case of empty houses.