HC Deb 18 November 1954 vol 533 cc545-6
43. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to be able to publish a book in popular form setting out, among other things, what can be done to mitigate the effects of atomic bomb damage, as recommended by the Mabane Committee's report of March this year.

Major Lloyd-George

I have not overlooked the committee's recommendation, but I am not yet in a position to add to the reply that was given to the hon. Member on 24th June last.

Mr. de Freitas

Is the right hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that for the last three years we have had many similar answers to many similar Questions? Surely, it is most important that such a publication should be issued?

Major Lloyd-George

It is important, I agree, but the hon. Gentleman will be aware that the recommendation was made at the time of the atomic bomb. We have since had information about the hydrogen bomb experiments, and a general review has been necessary.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Will the Minister ensure that when this publication does come, it will be based on official information about the bomb tests given by military and political authorities in the United States and not on information long out of date, as has been the case too often in recent times?

Major Lloyd-George

The whole purpose of the review is that plans should be brought up to date.

Mr. Fernyhough

Is the Minister aware that on Thursday last the United States Secretary for Air said that one such bomb would destroy the animal and vegetable life of a whole continent? Does he not think it time to be honest with the people, and to tell them that if an atomic war should break out there would be no question of Civil Defence being able to help them?