HC Deb 06 March 1958 vol 583 cc1336-7
52. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Prime Minister if he will appoint a committee to inquire into the co-operation between civilian and Service fire fighting and first aid teams and to report how these can be improved; and, in particular, how far, having regard to security considerations as well as to the safety of the public, it is in the public interest to continue the present policy of refusing to train local authority fire brigades to deal with crashed aircraft carrying nuclear weapons.

The Prime Minister

There is already the closest co-operation in all these matters between the Service and civil Departments concerned, and I do not consider a special committee to be necessary. As regards the training of fire brigades, I would refer the hon. Member to what was said by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary in reply to his Question of 27th February.

Mr. de Freitas

Have not the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for Air disclosed a situation in which the civilian fire brigades may be called upon at any moment to perform tasks for which they are totally untrained and unprepared? Is the Prime Minister aware that in the Eastern Counties and Lincolnshire, especially, there is a great deal of disquiet on this subject?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir. I think that the arrangements made are very satisfactory.