Oral Answers to Questions — India (Air-Raid Precautions, Expenditure).

– in the House of Commons on 25th June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Secretary of State for India, whether expenditure on air-raid precautions in India is borne by the Central or by Provincial Governments; and to what extent this service has now been organised?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery , Birmingham Sparkbrook

Expenditure on air-raid precautions in India is shared between the Central and Provincial Governments according to a sliding scale under which an amount equivalent to about four per cent. of provincial revenue is borne by the Provincial Government concerned and thereafter a share increasing by stages to seven-eighths fall on the Central Government. Since the outbreak of war with Japan very considerable improvement has been made by Provincial Governments, particularly on the eastern side of India, in organising and training their Civil Defence services. Effective co-ordination and direction have been provided by the Government of India who are extending their training schools and have recently recruited for that purpose a number of experienced instructors from England. I wish to take this occasion to pay tribute to the valuable work in improving India's preparedness in this respect which was performed by Mr. Raghavendra Rao as member of the Governor-General's Executive Council in charge of Civil Defence until his recent untimely death.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Has the Minister any information regarding the provision of shelters in the Eastern parts of India; further is there any kind of organised cooperation between the Government and non-governmental bodies?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery , Birmingham Sparkbrook

The question of shelters has to be dealt with according to the conditions of each locality, soil and so on. There is abundant willing co-operation from the general population with the work being done.

Mr. J. J. Davidson:

Can the Minister say whether he has any knowledge of evacuation schemes from dangerous Provinces to safer Provinces?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I would sooner have notice of that Question.