§ Sir R. Tasker
asked the Minister of Health why the grant to firms providing air-raid shelters of approved design has been suspended; and what provision has been made to enforce regulations to secure adequate accommodation for employees engaged in industry?
§ Mr. H. Morrison
I have been asked to reply. The statutory authority for the payment of grant in respect of air raid shelters at industrial premises, Section 22 of the Civil Defence Act, 1939, enabled grant to be paid only on shelters provided within the time limit laid down in the Section in areas specified under Section 12 of the Act. Further areas were specified in December, 1940, after the expiration of the time limit in Section 22, 571W and by analogy with the above, arrangements were made for the payment of grant where the shelter was provided or planned within three months of the date of specification. As regards shelter provided or planned outside the time limit of the 30th September, 1939, or three months from the date of specification of area, if later, it was not considered that there was any case for proposing new legislation to Parliament authorising a general abandonment of time limits. My hon. Friend is no doubt aware that Section 19 of the Finance Act, 1941, which is applicable to shelter in industrial premises, enables an annual deduction to be made from a trader's profits for the purpose of assessing Income Tax, of a proportion of the net cost of shelter provided for the purposes of his trade, and this affords assistance analogous to grant under Section 22 of the Act of 1939. As regards the second part of the Question, I would draw attention to Section 16 of the Act of 1939, which enables the service of notices requiring the provision of adequate shelter accommodation to a prescribed standard.