Shelters.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons on 2nd July 1942.

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Mr. Davidson:

asked the Home Secretary the total number of uncompleted air-raid shelters in this country up to date?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Shelter statistics are not compiled on the basis of numbers of shelters, since individual shelters vary greatly in capacity. At the end of April, the latest date for which figures have been submitted, the amount of shelter provided by local authorities or the Government represented nearly 94 per cent. of the objective aimed at with due regard to the amount of labour and materials likely to be available. I have no information to what extent the remaining 6 per cent. comprises shelter the construction of which has been commenced but not completed.

Mr. Davidson:

Is the Minister aware that in many districts there is a considerable number of uncompleted shelters, and in view of the difficulties of labour and material which are generally recognised, is there in the Department any committee which is considering the whole question of alternative material, with strong resistance power, for those shelters?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

No, Sir. I have not got in my Department any more committees than I cannot avoid having, but technical officers do keep the matter under review, and I will consider any suggestions that may be made. If the hon. Gentleman will let me have particulars of the districts he has in mind, I will, of course, have them investigated.

Mr. Craik Henderson:

Has the Minister considered the possibility of using the rescue and demolition squads?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

Yes, Sir; the arrangements are that Civil Defence personnel can be used for this work.