HC Deb 10 December 1942 vol 385 cc1694-5
45. Mr. Driberg

asked the Prime Minister whether he can now make any statement concerning church bells and, in particular, whatever may be decided as a general policy whether he will allow the ringing of them on Christmas morning?

49. Mr. Stokes

asked the Prime Minister whether he will consider changing over the invasion warning from the ringing of church bells to a signal by siren and thereby permit the renewed ringing of the bells for the purpose for which they were intended, especially as in some districts bells recently rung were not heard at all and cannot therefore be a satisfactory invasion signal?

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

This whole matter is under consideration.

Mr. Stokes

Can my right hon. Friend tell us when that consideration will come to an end and when the Government will be able to take a decision on this matter?

Mr. Attlee

I do not think the consideration will take very long, but I could not say how long to-day.

Mr. Driberg

If the whole matter is under consideration, can the right hon. Gentleman answer the latter part of my Question?

Mr. Attlee

I think the matter would be decided before there was any danger of running into Christmas.

Miss Rathbone

If Christmas bells are considered to be joy bells, ought they to be rung at a time when a nation which has given us the Bible is being, exterminated by the wholesale massacre of men, women and children? Would it not be rather a mockery?

Mr. Granville

When this question is being investigated, will the Government bear in mind that in the event of small raids on this country the civilian populaton would have no idea at all of what warning they would receive?

Mr. Attlee

I am sure that point will be noted.