HC Deb 30 July 1959 vol 610 cc672-3
43. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is aware that misleading information is being given to mothers in lectures on civil defence measures to provide protection against nuclear warfare; and what steps he takes to ensure accuracy in all lectures and information relating to civil defence matters.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend does not know what particular talks the hon. Member has in mind, but anyone officially concerned with civil defence instruction and information is provided with authentic material through official channels.

Mr. Allaun

Will the Minister examine reports, which I can send her, of such lectures given in schools where so-called useful hints include, "Paint your windows with a mixture of whitewash and curdled milk to prevent blast", "Soak your curtains in borax and starch to prevent fire", and "Have candles in plant pots to produce heat"? Is not the effect of such lectures to deceive ordinary people into thinking that a real protection against the bomb exists?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

If the hon. Member were sufficiently interested to study the very careful investigations and experiments that have taken place and the authentic material that has been provided for these lectures—practical measures, I imagine he is thinking of the "One-in-five" lecture scheme operated by the W.V.S.—I do not think he would scoff, as his supplementary question implies, at the responsible attitude of people who are surprised how much they could do, in the unfortunate event of an emergency, to protect themselves and their families.