HC Deb 05 April 1951 vol 486 cc369-70
35. Mr. Henry Brooke

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he can yet state how soon London local authorities will be informed whether they have his authority to employ consultants to assist with the second stage of the shelter survey called for in Civil Defence Circular No. 48/1950; and how they are to obtain the other additional staff required to complete this survey by the stated date.

Mr. de Freitas

I hope to reach a conclusion before long. One difficulty is that the services of consultants who might be employed on the shelter survey may be needed more urgently for constructional work in the approved defence programme.

Mr. Brooke

As this circular asking local authorities to complete this important job by the end of June was issued in December and it is now April and local authorities still cannot get the guidance they require from the Home Office, is the Under-Secretary aware that it tends to give people the impression that the Government are not now taking Civil Defence seriously?

Mr. de Freitas

Civil Defence is extremely important, but we do not want this work, important as it is, to prejudice any constructional work for the Fighting Services.