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Civil Defence Act 1939

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

56Evacuation of civil population

(1)It shall be the duty of every local authority, at the request and in accordance with the directions of the Minister—

(a)to collect and furnish to him such information as he may require for the purpose of assisting the preparation by His Majesty's Government of plans for the transference of members of the civil population from one area to another in the event of war or the imminence of war, and for the accommodation and maintenance of the persons transferred;

(b)to take in advance measures designed to facilitate any such transference or secure the accommodation or maintenance of persons so transferred;

(c)to provide, in such premises under their control as are reasonably available for the purpose, for the storage and preservation of such material and equipment acquired by the Minister under this section as the Minister may direct; and

(d)to take part in carrying out any such plan.

(2)Any local authority may, for the purpose of enabling them to comply with any such request or directions as aforesaid, serve on the occupier of any premises a notice requiring him to send to the authority, within such time as may be specified in the notice, such particulars with respect to the premises and to the number of persons resident therein as may be so specified, and any person who fails to comply with the notice shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five pounds.

(3)The Minister, if it appears to him that, in view of the imminence or existence of an emergency involving the possibility of hostile attack, it is expedient so to do, may make regulations for the purpose of securing accommodation for any persons transferred under any such plan as is mentioned in subsection (1) of this section, and without prejudice to the generality of the preceding words, any such regulations may—

(a)provide for occupiers of premises being required to furnish in the premises such accommodation as may be specified in the requirement;

(b)declare the circumstances in which, and the extent to which, responsibility shall be assumed by occupiers of premises for the feeding and care of any children accommodated therein under the regulations;

(c)authorise the imposition, on summary conviction, of fines not in any case exceeding fifty pounds or imprisonment not exceeding three months, for failure to comply with any requirements imposed by or under the regulations.

(4)There shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament to any local authority grants equal to the total amount of their expenses under this section, being expenses approved for the purposes of this subsection by the Minister, acting in accordance with general directions of the Treasury.

(5)Any expenses incurred with the consent of the Treasury by the Minister in or in connection with the acquisition or storage on behalf of His Majesty of equipment and other material with a view to the accommodation or maintenance of members of the civil population who may be transferred under any such plan shall be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament.

(6)Subject to the special provisions of this Act with respect to the administrative county of London, in this section the expression " local authority" means the council of a county, county borough or county district.

(7)Section six of the Act of 1937 is hereby repealed.

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

Provided that no person shall be under any liability in respect of anything done or omitted to be done before the passing of this Act which he would not have been under if this Act had not passed.

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