Yes, Sir. To make it more difficult for children to get themselves into danger, basins will, as soon as the work can be carried out, be surmounted by a ring of barbed wire fitted on stanchions. Where the walls of brick or masonry tanks have flat tops there will be added a pointed coping above which the ring of barbed wire will be placed. I hope these measures will be effective. Much direct damage has been done to static water tanks in many parts of the country, and moreover they have been used as dumps for rubbish, including much valuable salvage. A new Defence Regulation has, therefore, been made under which it is an offence to throw things into, or climb on, them, or to interfere with pipes, valves, etc. These water supplies are of first-rate importance to our war effort, and I should welcome the co-operation of all hon. Members in impressing upon the public the urgent importance of not interfering with them or in any way diminishing their usefulness.
I am glad to hear that that is the case in West Ham. We have thought carefully about this, and the Parliamentary Secretary has made an examination. We thought that barbed wire would be effective, and I should have thought that children would not wish to be mixed up with barbed wire; but here I am in a dilemma, for it is a choice between children tearing their clothes on the wire and getting drowned. I think that on the whole the first is the lesser risk to take.