§ 43. Mr. G. Griffiths
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any scheme is in existence for the evacuation of the civil population of Gibraltar in the event of war breaking out; and, if not, what arrangements are in existence for their protection in the event of the bombardment of Gibraltar from the sea, land, or air?
Mr. M. MacDonald
It would not be in the public interest to give information concerning the defence plans of Gibraltar, which naturally include provision for the security of the civilian population.
§ 44 and 48. Mr. T. Smith
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) whether he is aware that, in both the air-raid precautions pamphlets issued by the Government of Gibraltar in 1935 and 1938, respectively, it was stated that attack from the air might include gas; that the Gibraltar City Council has on several occasions in the last few years urged the Government of Gibraltar to make arrangements for the supply of gas masks for the civilian population; that, during the recent crisis, no gas masks 409 were issued to or available for the civil population other than for the families and servants of the naval authorities; and what action is being, or will be, taken against those responsible for this state of affairs;
(2) whether he is aware that the air-raid precautions pamphlet, No. 1, issued by the Government of Gibraltar in September, 1935, stated that measures for the safeguarding of the civil population against the effect of air or other attack were engaging the attention of the Government of Gibraltar, but that no steps were taken to enrol air-raid wardens or similar officers until 26th September, 1938, when a Government notice was issued, inviting persons to tender themselves for such enrolment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; and what action it is proposed to take against the persons responsible for this matter?
The arrangements for the protection of the civil population in Gibraltar against gas attack were well advanced at the time of the recent crisis, but I am aware that there were deficiencies in certain directions. I am not in possession of information concerning all the detailed points raised in these questions, and have asked the Governor for a full report.
§ 49. Mr. T. Smith
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether during the recent crisis any air-raid shelters were available for the civil population of Gibraltar; is he aware that in September, 1935, the Government of Gibraltar issued an air-raid precautions pamphlet, No. 1, in which all civilians were advised, in the event of an air raid, to go at once to an air-raid shelter, a list of 12 shelters being given which could receive nearly all the population; and, seeing that nothing further was published until 29th September last, when a revised pamphlet was issued advising civilians in the event of an air raid to go into the nearst house and remain there, will he state the reason for this change of policy and what was done in the three years between the dates of the two pamphlets to prepare for the protection of the civil population?
I have not seen a copy of the later pamphlet to which the hon. Member refers, but so far as I am aware, there has been no change of policy and the shelters which existed in 1935 are still available.