HC Deb 25 October 1956 vol 558 cc805-6
16. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to facilitate the showing at home and abroad, and particularly in the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, of the Home Office Civil Defence film showing the devastation which would be caused if a hydrogen bomb were dropped on a modern city.

Major Lloyd-George

As I informed the hon. Member in reply to a previous Question, this is primarily a Civil Defence training film, and good use has been made of it for this purpose. Sixteen millimetre copies are on sale to local authorities who have been told that they are free to give it public showing. The film has been brought to the notice of Commonwealth and Colonial governments, the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and other foreign Governments with whom we are regularly in touch on Civil Defence matters. A number of those countries, including the United States of America, have acquired copies. One or two other Governments have also asked for a copy and those requests have been met. No special steps have been taken to bring the film to the notice of the Government of the Soviet Union.

Mr. de Freitas

Would it not be a good idea to do so? After all, is it not important that in all countries which have the power to deliver the hydrogen bomb the public should, as far as possible, be aware of its appalling consequences?

Major Lloyd-George

Up to date the film has been offered only to those people with whom we normally exchange Civil Defence information. I have had no request from the Soviet Government for it. It is primarily a training film, and the main purpose in producing it was to give it to our own people, and others interested, for Civil Defence purposes.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman consider making a large film for general distribution to cinemas so that the public, as well as Civil Defence workers, may be informed of what is to be expected?

Major Lloyd-George

The film is available to anybody who wants it. If any cinema wanted to show it, it could do so, and even the B.B.C. if it wished.