HC Deb 21 October 1942 vol 383 cc1993-4W
Mr. R. Morgan

asked the Home Secretary in whose custody was the building in London containing 5,000 tons of sugar, all of which was recently destroyed by fire; what was the age of the building and the extent to which wood entered into its structure; and were they any firewatchers on the premises at the time?

Miss Wilkinson

If I am correct in assuming that the fire referred to is one that occurred on the night of 13th–14th October at the premises of Messrs. Coppen Brothers, 14, Rutherford Street, S.W.1, the answer is that, though the building was old and had timber floors, it was well-constructed and had been modernised; the fire prevention arrangements, which were up to the approved standards, had been approved by the appropriate authority. In accordance with the approved arrangements three fire guards were on duty on the night of the fire.

Mr. Mainwaring

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food whether his attention has been drawn to the loss of 5,000 tons of sugar and other provisions by fire in the Westminster area; and whether he has any statement to make on the matter?

Mr. Mabane

I am aware of the fire to which my hon. Friend refers, and my attention has been drawn to reports that 5,000 tons of sugar were destroyed. These reports were exaggerated. The amount of sugar affected by the fire was 20 tons, of which about half will be recovered for consumption. In addition approximately 130 tons of mixed groceries and provisions were also affected by the fire.

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