§ 46. Mr. MACLAY
asked the Prime Minister whether, as a contribution to the relief of unemployment and in view of the growth of civil aviation, he will encourage local authorities of all large towns to clear and level suitable ground for future aerodromes; and whether, in view of possible aerial warfare in the southern and eastern areas of England, he will encourage large-scale excavations for bomb-proof shelters, subsidising local authorities to the extent of the difference between the dole and a fair wage for unemployed men so engaged?
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
I have been asked to reply. The policy of the Government in dealing with applications from local authorities for the approval of loans for public works is that approval is given if the works are remunerative or if a good case can be shown for proceeding with them at once. An application for a loan for the acquisition of land or for work in connection with an aerodrome would not be refused if it complied with either of these conditions. In some cases sanctions have recently been given for the acquisition of land and for works in connection with aerodromes. The provision of bomb-proof shelters is not a function of local authorities in the ordinary course, and in any event it does not appear that approval of loans for this purpose would be warranted at the present time.