Air Raid Precautions.

Oral Answers to Questions — The Coronation. – in the House of Commons on 12th November 1936.

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Photo of Mr George Mathers Mr George Mathers , Linlithgowshire

asked the Home Secretary what action has been taken with university authorities in general, and Edinburgh in particular, in relation to anti-poison-gas instruction; whether this has been included in the curriculum as a compulsory subject by his order; what authority he has for such action; and whether it is intended to impose any penalty upon students who object to take such a subject as part of their studies in the public health course?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

My right hon. Friend has appointed a number of medical instructors in anti-gas precautions who, amongst their duties, will give instruction to medical students in accordance with arrangements which have been made with the authorities of universities and medical schools. The question whether this subject should be taught on a compulsory or voluntary basis is a matter entirely for the authorities responsible for medical education.

Photo of Mr George Mathers Mr George Mathers , Linlithgowshire

Are the hon. Gentleman and the Home Secretary himself aware that, apart from those students who think that to have this instruction is to give way to the idea that war is inevitable, there is a strong body of opinion that they are being, in this way, included in what may be described as the Government's military machine, and that it is on that ground that the objection is raised to the compulsory nature of the instruction?

Vice-Admiral TAYLOR:

Is it not in the public interest that such instruction should take place generally throughout the country?

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

asked the Home Secretary whether satisfactory arrangements have been made for the large-scale manufacture of gas-masks?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

Yes, Sir. Substantial stocks of components of the civilian respirator have already been produced, and we expect to be in large scale assembly by next month.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Can the hon. Gentleman give me any idea what the weekly output is now, and when there will be sufficient to equip all people who are likely to be in danger of air attack, in the South of England?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

We expect the production of this factory to be running roughly at the rate of 2,000,000 per month very shortly.

Photo of Mr William Thorne Mr William Thorne , West Ham Plaistow

Can the hon. Gentleman give information as to when they will be required?

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

What company has a monopoly of the particular process of production which is considered safe by the Government?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

It is a Government factory.

Captain CAZALET:

Will there be any control over the price at which these are to be sold?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

They will be issued free to the general population in the event of emergency.

Photo of Mr Willie Brooke Mr Willie Brooke , Batley and Morley

asked the Home Secretary whether it is the intention of the Air Raids Precautions Department to issue a handbook free to the public on air raid precautions; if so, when such handbooks will be issued; and if and to what extent such handbooks have yet been printed?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

As I have previously stated, this matter is under active consideration. A large number of important details are involved, and I will inform the House as soon as I am in a position to do so.

Photo of Mr Willie Brooke Mr Willie Brooke , Batley and Morley

Is it not a fact that over 1,500,000 of these handbooks have been printed and are lying unused in the cellars of the Home Office? Who gave authority for them to be printed?

Photo of Mr Geoffrey Lloyd Mr Geoffrey Lloyd , Birmingham, Ladywood

That information is not accurate.

Photo of Mr Alfred Bossom Mr Alfred Bossom , Maidstone

Will the hon. Member explain when the people who are to use these gas masks will be fitted with them?

Photo of Mr George Hardie Mr George Hardie , Glasgow Springburn

Will it not be the night before?