HC Deb 19 March 1958 vol 584 cc1266-7
45. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Prime Minister if he will consider appointing a Minister of Civil Defence.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)

I have been asked to reply.

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend considers that nothing would be gained, and a great deal might be lost, by altering the present arrangements. In addition to his direct responsibilities under the Civil Defence Act, 1948, the Home Secretary is responsible for co-ordinating the defence plans of all the civil agencies of Government.

Mr. Hughes

Could the Deputy Prime Minister say which of the hopeless incompetents in the Government is responsible for the situation in which there is to be the evacuation of the population of London into a missile area? Is it not time that somebody looked seriously at the interests of the civil population of this country, as against the people who have formed themselves into a suicide club?

Mr. Butler

I cannot accept the hon. Member's interpretation either of the intelligence of the Government or the plans which he designates, and which I cannot recognise. In so far as a Minister is responsible, I am responsible as Home Secretary, and if the hon. Gentleman wishes to put any particular questions to me, I shall be only too glad to discuss them with him.

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