§ 23. Mrs. Braddock
asked the Minister of Labour if he will include in the proposed legislation about safety, health and welfare in shops and other premises provision to ensure that fire authorities will be the responsible bodies for the application and enforcement by inspection of any regulations made in the fire safety clauses included in the Bill.
§ Mrs. Braddock
Does the Minister realise that at the moment fire authorities have no power at all to look at fire precautions or to ensure that fire regulations are carried out? Unless this state of affairs is remedied, there may be many more serious fires, such as that which happened at Henderson's. The Minister must realise this and not allow the question of empires to stand in the way as between the Home Secretary and his Department. If he does allow empires to stand in the way, this matter will be overlooked. I ask the Minister and all concerned to look into the serious consequences very carefully and to ensure that those who are trained in fire precautions and can give advice to departments, shops and factories have the opportunity legally of being able to enter and ensure that there is compliance with the required regulations.
§ Mr. Hare
I well remember the case to which the hon. Lady is referring, namely, the fire last year in the large store at Liverpool. I have indicated to the hon. Lady that I am not unsympathetic to her point, but I do not think that I can say more at this juncture because we are, after all, in the process of consultation and it would be wrong for me to prejudge this.
Will not the right hon. Gentleman agree that my hon. Friend's request would bring this legislation into line with the Factories Acts and would therefore be eminently sound? The right hon. Gentleman will remember that in the last factory legislation fire authorities were given this kind of power.