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Civil Defence Act 1939

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Part VIObscuration of lights and camouflage

43General duty as to factories, mines and public utility undertakings

(1)It shall be the duty of the occupier of any factory premises, of the owner of any mine and of the persons carrying on any public utility undertaking to take forthwith any necessary measures to secure that in the event of war, throughout any period of darkness—

(a)no light is allowed to appear from within any building on the premises, or used for the purposes of the mine or undertaking; and

(b)no lights not within a building remain alight, unless they are essential for the conduct of work of national importance, are adequately shaded, are reduced in power and, save where the Minister otherwise directs, are capable of instant extinction at any time :

Provided that this subsection shall not apply to any light exhibited solely in the interests of navigation.

(2)A factory inspector may serve on the occupier of any factory premises, a mines inspector may serve on the owner of any mine and the appropriate department may serve on the persons carrying on any public utility undertaking, a notice in writing requiring the occupier, owner or persons, within the time specified in the notice, to take such measures as may be specified in the notice, being such measures as are mentioned in subsection (1) of this section.

(3)This section does not apply to any of the matters dealt with in the next succeeding section.

44Provisions as to processes involving flames or glare

(1)Where any process carried on in factory premises, in any mine or in the premises of any public utility undertakers, involves the emission of flames or glare not capable of being screened by means which would suffice in the case of ordinary lighting of a building, the Minister, in the case of factory premises or a mine, or the appropriate department, in the case of the premises of public utility undertakers, may serve on the occupier of the factory premises, the owner of the mine or the public utility undertakers, as the case may be, a notice in writing requiring him or them, within the time specified in the notice, to take or complete such measures as may be specified in the notice to secure that in the event of war the flames or glare will either no longer be produced during any period of darkness, or will be wholly or partially screened.

(2)The Minister may serve on the owner of any mine in connection with which there is any accumulation or deposit of refuse which is burning or is liable to spontaneous combustion, a notice in writing requiring him, within the time specified in the notice, to take or complete such measures as may be specified in the notice to secure that in the event of war no flames or glare will be produced during any period of darkness by that accumulation or deposit or that any flames or glare so produced will be wholly or partially screened.

45Camouflage

The Minister may serve on the occupier of any factory premises, the owner of any mine or any public utility undertakers a notice in writing requiring him or them, within the time specified in the notice, to take or complete such measures as may be specified in the notice to secure that the factory premises, the mine or, as the case may be, any of the premises of the undertakers, are or can be made less readily recognisable by aircraft in the event of hostile attack.

46Grants under Part VI

(1)There may be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament, towards the approved expenses of any person on whom a notice has been served under the two last preceding sections in taking the measures specified in the notice, grants not exceeding one-half of those expenses.

(2)In this section " approved expenses" means such expenses of a capital nature as the Minister, or, in the case of measures specified in a notice served by the appropriate department, that department, acting in accordance with general directions of the Treasury, may approve for the purposes of this section.

47Penalty for failure to comply with notice

If any persons on whom a notice is served under any of the preceding provisions of this Part of this Act fail to comply with the requirements thereof, they shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, and, if the failure in respect of which they were so convicted continues after the conviction, they shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds for each day on which the offence continues :

Provided that the court by which any persons are convicted under this subsection may fix a reasonable period from the date of the conviction for the compliance by them with the requirements of the notice, and, where the court has fixed, such a period, the said daily penalty shall not be recoverable in respect of any day before the expiration thereof.

48Saving for provisions of Part V

The preceding provisions of this Part of this Act relating to public utility undertakers shall not be construed as limiting the generality of the provisions of Part V of this Act, but no grant shall be made both under this Part of this Act and that Part of this Act in respect of the same expenses.

49Provisions as to practice of dimming lights

(1)Nothing in any enactment requiring a local authority to cause the whole or any part of their area to be lighted shall render it unlawful for the authority to cause the lights in highways and public places in the whole or any part of their area to be dimmed or extinguished for the purpose of—

(a)training or exercising any persons in respect of air-raid precautions; or

(b)testing devices for enabling movement of traffic to continue in unlighted streets.

(2)Nothing in any enactment or in any order or regulation made under any enactment relating to lighting of factory premises, mines, or public utility undertakings shall render it unlawful for the occupier of any factory premises, the owner of any mine, or the persons carrying on any public utility undertaking to cause the lights in the factory premises, mine, or undertaking to be dimmed or extinguished for the purpose of—

(a)assisting a local authority in training or exercising any persons in respect of air-raid precautions; or

(b)training or exercising persons employed in the factory premises, mine, or public utility undertaking in respect of air-raid precautions.

(3)This section shall be deemed to have had effect as from the commencement of the Act of 1937.

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