HC Deb 05 February 1942 vol 377 cc1283-4W
Viscountess Astor

asked the Home Secretary whether where the public shelter provided is not near enough for a householder to watch for fire-bombs on his house, or where special circumstances arise, such as old age of a member of a family, he will allow Morrison table shelters to be given free to persons whose income is below £320?

Mr. H. Morrison

I have never associated occupation of a table shelter with the performance of fire guard duty, and I could not authorise the issue of such shelters in these cases. Authority has already been given for the issue of table shelters to persons within the income limit who by reason of ill-health or physical infirmity are permanently incapable of leaving the house to make use of other available shelter.

Mr. Groves

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware that owing to the lull in enemy activity, many shelters are not at present being used, and are fast getting unusable; and whether he will instruct the local authorities to make frequent examination to ensure the ready availability of all such public shelters?

Mr. E. Brown

I have been asked to reply. I am aware that a large number of public shelters are not being used during the present lull in enemy activities, but I cannot accept my hon. Friend's suggestion that because certain shelters are not being used they are rapidly becoming unusable. On the contrary, local authorities are making as frequent inspections as the pressure on their staffs permits to ensure that these shelters will be readily available.

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