Seanad Éireann - Volume 33 - 13 November, 1946
Air Raid Precautions (Amendment) Bill, 1946—Second Stage.
Question proposed: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”
Minister for Defence (Mr. Traynor) Oscar Traynor
Minister for Defence (Mr. Traynor): This Bill provides for the continuance of a limited number of the powers which had to be secured by Emergency Orders. It incorporates in permanent legislation provisions so made covering the following matters:—
(a) Supplementary powers and duties of local authorities in connection with evacuation arrangements subject to the direction of the Minister for Defence given after consultation with the Minister for Local Government and Public Health; (b) An amendment to the Air Raid Precautions Act, 1939, necessary as a result of a typographical error in Section 34 of that Act; (c) The authority for full recoupment by the State of expenses incurred by local authorities on the provision of food and rest centre arrangements under A.R.P. schemes; (d) The necessary authority for the Minister for Finance to pay compensation to members of air raid precautions services injured while on duty in peace-time, for example, at bombing incidents. They would be such as took place at the North Strand, Dublin and other centres during the emergency; (e) Powers to enable the Minister for Defence to  distribute reserve medical stores to hospitals where they can be maintained by use and replacement, if necessary; (f) Authority to enable grants to be paid to hospitals by the State and local authorities towards the cost of measures taken by the hospitals to protect their normal patients and staffs from the effects of air raids.
These were some of the powers found necessary in the light of experience gleaned from the nature of air attacks as they developed. They are interim measures only and designed, in the main, to enable us to retain such of the additional precautions taken under Emergency Powers Orders, as with the limited knowledge at our disposal now, seem necessary to continue.
We are retaining reserves of certain essential equipment, such as fire pumps, medical and surgical supplies, rescue equipment, anti-gas respirators. This equipment is located in different parts of the country and is being maintained in good condition against the likelihood of its being required. Any developments of air raid precautions in other countries on new lines necessitated by the altered conditions are being studied continuously by officers of the Department of Defence.
No one will, I am sure, query the wisdom of retaining powers to enable air raid precautions to be organised, and while we cannot at this stage indicate the nature of the future organisation it would be undesirable to abandon any measures which may have value in the future. The Air Raid Precautions Act, 1939, to which this Bill is an amendment, still stands but will, no doubt, need revision in the future as more information becomes available.
Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for Wednesday, 27th November, 1946.
Seanad Éireann 33 Air Raid Precautions (Amendment) Bill, 1946—Second Stage.