HC Deb 22 February 1937 vol 320 cc1647-8
60 and 61. Mr. Parker

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he will make an investigation into the observations of the Cambridge scientists as the result of their examination of recommendations put forward by the Air Raids Precautions Department of the Home Office;

(2) whether he will cause to be published the full scientific evidence on which the proposals for the gasproofing of rooms in private houses have been based?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd)

I presume the hon. Member refers to the Cambridge Scientists' Anti-War Group, but I would point out that this group must not be confused with the general body of Cambridge scientists, and indeed His Majesty's Government are advised in regard to these matters by the most distinguished scientific experts, not only from Cambridge, but from Oxford and other universities. The observations of the Cambridge Scientists' Anti-War Group have been carefully investigated, with the result that both the experiments themselves and the deductions made from them have been proved to be open to grave criticism. It would not be in the public interest to disclose details of the experiments upon which the Government's plans are based, but, as I said in answer to a previous question, these experiments were conducted with actual war gases liberated under practical conditions, and the measures proposed would be effective in affording a very great measure of protection.

Mr. A. Henderson

Is not the difficulty with scientists the same as with lawyers—that they never agree?

Mr. Sandys

Is my hon. Friend aware that this so-called anti-war movement is a subsidiary of the Communist party, and that the Executive of the Labour party have declared it to be subversive and unworthy of recognition?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir, I believe that to be true.