HC Deb 20 March 1941 vol 370 cc304-5W
Mr. Gallacher

asked the Home Secretary (1) when specifications were sent out to the authorities responsible for the construction of air-raid shelters which included the use of lime-mortar for brick surface shelters; and what is the total accommodation of shelters constructed to this specification;

(2) what is the number and accommodation of brick surface shelters found to require treatment, other than entire reconstruction, as detailed in the Ministry of Home Security Circular 290/1940, under the heading Defective Mortar; what is the number of, and accommodation in, shelters requiring complete reconstruction; and what is the value of the recommended measure of scraping out the joints and grouting them with cement mortar?

Mr. H. Morrison

The specification to which my hon. Friend refers appeared in the A.R.P. Memorandum No. 14 which was issued on the 29th April, 1940. It was unfortunately not too clearly worded and was read by some 1ocal authorities as authorising the use of mortar ungauged with cement. Any possible misapprehension was removed by a circular issued on the 17th July. While I have been able, in consultation with the regional authorities, to gain some rough picture of the position as regards defective construction of brick surface shelters, and to issue detailed instructions as to the course to be followed by local authorities in regard to them, I am not in a position to give specific answers to my hon. Friend's requests for statistics. As regards the last part of his second Question, the object aimed at by the recommendation was to prevent the entry of water and frost into the joints of the brickwork.

Mr. Radford

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that a number of individuals, with incomes over £250 but under £350 per annum, bought their own indoor air-raid shelters and now see, under the Government's increased income limit, other persons with similar incomes receiving their equipment at public expense; and if he will arrange that some allowance is made to those who have already supplied themselves with indoor shelters at their own expense?

Mr. Morrison

I am aware that there are some persons in this position but I regret that I am not prepared to entertain claims by them for an allowance.