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Enemy Air Raids

Volume 95: debated on Wednesday 27 June 1917

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48.

asked the Prime Minister whether the Government are prepared to reconsider their decision with regard to the compensation of victims of air raids; if so, when it is proposed to make a definite statement in the House; and whether, under these circumstances, to prevent confusion and ensure equity, the Government will consider the advisability of abolishing the present system of Government insurance?

With regard to the first two parts of the question, I can add nothing to the replies I gave on the 19th and 22nd instant to the hon. Member for East Edinburgh. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative.

Might I ask the Leader of the House if he will make a definite and final statement as to whether it is or is not permissible for individuals occupying official positions to give information of approaching raids, because it is either necessary or unnecessary? [HON. MEMBERS: "That does not arise!"] What action does the Prime Minister propose to take with reference to the Lord Mayor's statement of last night?

49.

asked whether the Government has yet decided to adopt a policy of air-raid warning by day; if it is proposed to adopt a policy of air-raid warning by night; and, if so, if a standardised system of warning will be instituted throughout the country, or whether each local authority will be permitted to make its own arrangements?

The Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief established some time ago a system of night warnings which covers the whole country, and has worked well, and he has now established a system of day warnings in the area which is exposed to attack by hostile aeroplanes. In both cases the warnings are conveyed to the proper military and police authorities and to certain factories and institutions where special precautionary measures are required in the public interest; no public warning is given by the military authorities. In certain areas public warnings are prohibited by military order, and the Government has now decided that no public warning should be given in London, but elsewhere local authorities are allowed to give such warning if they think it desirable.

Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared to receive a deputation from the City in this connection as to whether warning should or should not be given?

I have already received a deputation, which included the Lord Mayor of the City of London.