Shops and Offices (Heating)

Oral Answers to Questions — Fuel and Power – in the House of Commons on 20th October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether it is on his instructions that the heating of shops and offices has been prohibited; and whether he has considered the special difficulties of those employed in those establishments and the certain adverse effects on their health?

Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

My right hon. Friend made General Directions under the Control of Fuel Order which prohibit central heating in controlled premises, which includes shops and offices, during the month of October, except under permit. Other forms of heating are not prohibited, but I have asked persons in charge of the heating of such premises to co-operate in the voluntary fuel economy campaign by postponing the heating of shops and offices by gas, electricity or coal until such time as central heating is permitted. The consequence of these Directions was naturally considered before they were made, but I cannot accept the implication in the latter part of my hon. Friend's Question.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

Will my hon. Friend be good enough to get into touch with those societies that pay sickness benefit? He will then see that the latter part of my Question is justified. Will he also be good enough to bear in mind the provision hands in grocery shops who are working all day surrounded by marble slabs?

Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

We certainly have been keeping in touch with various points, and I assure my hon. Friend that these matters will be considered.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Will the hon. Gentleman consider regulating temperature by the thermometer and not by the calendar?

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

Is it not a fact that the hon. Gentleman's Department allows central heating in smaller buildings, but not in large buildings?

Photo of Mr Tom Smith Mr Tom Smith , Normanton

I could not say offhand, but there is an exception to this Order. If circumstances are such that heating can be allowed, it is allowed.