HC Deb 15 June 1954 vol 528 cc1711-2
6. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what special Civil Defence exercises he proposes to organise in Scotland for the purpose of instructing the civil population as to what should be done in the event of a hydrogen bomb attack.

Mr. J. Stuart

I do not propose to advise local authorities to base their Civil Defence exercises on new assumptions until we have completed the review of our plans, which, as my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department has informed the House, is now in progress.

Mr. Hughes

Is it not time that the Secretary of State woke up on this matter? Is he aware that these exercises and precautions are taking place in such cities as New York, San Francisco and Stockholm? As we are supposed to be in so much danger, is he not going to do anything about it until the bombs drop?

Mr. Stuart

An experimental mobile column is actually carrying out exercises this month at Greenock, Dunbarton and Aberdeen. Therefore, we are taking active steps.

15. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many volunteers have been enrolled for Civil Defence in Scotland; and how far the figure is below requirements.

Mr. J. Stuart

Approximately 38,000 volunteers have been enrolled towards a peace-time establishment of some 80,000.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is the Minister aware that this poor response would be vastly improved were he to inject into the Home Secretary a greater sense of urgency and realism? Would the right hon. Gentleman give the House an assurance that he is not meekly following in the steps of the "Old Pretender" in the Home Office?

Mr. Stuart

Perhaps the Home Secretary will want to inject that into me beccause, in Scotland, it is my responsibility.