§ 25. Mr. Bevins
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the gross cost of fire services to local authorities and His Majesty's Government together, in 1938-39 and 1948-49, respectively.
§ The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Ede)
The gross cost in 1948-49 of the fire services in England and Wales was approximately £12,000,000, of which approximately £3,200,000 was borne by the Exchequer. Information for the year 1938-39 is not available; there was not then any Government grant in aid of fire brigade expenditure.
§ Mr. Bevins
As it is generally admitted that there has been a very large increase in the cost of these services, will 1115 the right hon. Gentleman consider a scheme for complete decentralisation to focal authorities?
§ Mr. Godfrey Nicholson
Is the right lion. Gentleman aware that the figures for 1948-49 put the sum for a course for students at the National Fire Service College at £40 a week? Will he see that that sort of expenditure is curtailed?