Public Shelters.

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence. – in the House of Commons am ar 7 Tachwedd 1940.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Minister of Health whether he will recommend to, or instruct, local authorities in control of public shelters used for sleep at night to make available in. all such shelters supplies of antiseptic and medicinal tablets or pastilles for free distribution with a view to minimising ailments and infection?

Photo of Mr Malcolm Macdonald Mr Malcolm Macdonald , Ross and Cromarty

The medical aid posts at the larger shelters will be equipped with appliances and drugs based on a schedule recommended by the committee over which Lord Horder presides. This schedule includes some medicinal tablets.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Does that mean that whenever it is necessary application can be made for the distribution of these pastilles, and will my right hon. Friend agree that if the Government can freely distribute plugs for the ears, they can equally well freely distribute pastilles for the throat?

Photo of Mr Malcolm Macdonald Mr Malcolm Macdonald , Ross and Cromarty

Whatever I am advised is necessary in the way of these provisions will be available for free distribution.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether in fact any of these pastilles are being distributed now, in view of the very great risk of infection which exists in many of the shelters?

Photo of Mr Malcolm Macdonald Mr Malcolm Macdonald , Ross and Cromarty

In some of them they are, but our organisation is not yet complete, although we are developing it as rapidly as we can.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lindsay Mr Kenneth Lindsay , Kilmarnock

Will the right hon. Gentleman first make certain that every shelter has a first-aid post?

Photo of Mr Malcolm Macdonald Mr Malcolm Macdonald , Ross and Cromarty

That is also a matter with which we are getting on as rapidly as we can, so far as the large shelters are concerned.

Photo of Mr Gordon Macdonald Mr Gordon Macdonald , Ince

Will the distribution of these supplies apply to shelters throughout the country, and not to London only?

Photo of Mr Malcolm Macdonald Mr Malcolm Macdonald , Ross and Cromarty

Yes, it will apply to shelters throughout the country.

Photo of Mr George Strauss Mr George Strauss , Lambeth North

asked the Home Secretary whether he will authorise the expenditure by local authorities for the provision, on the relay or some other economic system, of wireless apparatus in shelters holding a number of people?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

I see no objection to the use of wireless in shelters under proper control, but as at present advised I do not think there is a case for its provision at the public expense.

Photo of Mr George Strauss Mr George Strauss , Lambeth North

As there is shelter only to a very small extent, would my right hon. Friend keep an open mind on this question and consider applications made by local authorities?

Photo of Captain Leonard Plugge Captain Leonard Plugge , Rochester Chatham

In view of the reduced service by the B.B.C., cannot some money from licences go towards providing sets?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

That is a question for the Minister of Information. In reply to the first Supplementary Question, I would say that I do try to keep an open mind on this question but that the problem is to keep an open purse.