asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has prepared for the collection and subsequent disposal of civilian gas masks and civil defence respirators; and when these plans will be brought into operation.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether instructions can now be given to the public as to the disposal of respirators.
To avoid unnecessary use of man-power and storage space, for which the demand is considerable, I have not asked local authorities to collect gas masks for the time being. I am advised by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Supply and of Aircraft Production that there is no shortage of the material for remanufacture. I would, therefore, repeat the request made to the public by my predecessors to continue to keep their gas masks safe and free from damage.
Is the Home Secretary aware that the continued retention of this equipment in every home would indicate to most householders a very considerable degree of bureaucratic inefficiency?
I would not think so. I should have thought it would have reminded them that man-power is exceedingly short, and that storage space is required for manufacturing and the export trade to an extent that makes it impossible to collect these gas masks at the moment.