HC Deb 24 July 1958 vol 592 c674
46. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Prime Minister who, under the new defence arrangements, will be responsible for civil defence.

The Prime Minister

Responsibility for civil defence is not affected by the arrangements announced in the statement on Central Organisation for Defence. In addition to his direct responsibilities under the Civil Defence Act, 1948, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary continues to be responsible for co-ordinating the defence plans of the civil agencies of government.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Prime Minister aware that there are eleven members on this new Defence Board and that the Home Secretary, who is in charge of civil defence, is not on it? Should not there be one representative with experience of civil defence on it? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in default of being on this Defence Board, the Home Secretary can do nothing else but explain his views in the News of the World?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. If the hon. Member had read, or would read again, the White Paper, he would find that the Board can call in others to help; and of course my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is a leading and important member of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet.