HC Deb 29 May 1962 vol 660 c1137
12. Mr. Hayman

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he will make a statement on the plans for the evacuation of refugees to Cornwall in the event of a nuclear attack on Great Britain.

Mr. Rippon

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a circular sent to local authorities on 28th March, which explains that a dispersal scheme is to be prepared in case it is needed in an emergency. Under the scheme most of Cornwall would be a reception area. Arrangements for the planning of the scheme in detail are being discussed with the local authority associations and a further circular will be issued later.

Mr. Hayman

May I ask the Parliamentary Secretary to take into account the fact, that his plans may well be frustrated by the Minister of Transport, because there is a danger of the main line from Plymouth being closed altogether? As we can get no assurance from the Minister of Transport, will he do his best to get one, so that we may be assured, at least, of having a railway line?

Mr. Rippon

We are satisfied that we can provide an effective scheme.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Is my hon. Friend confident that the local authorities in Cornwall are capable of dealing with the increased population which will go down there, if the need arises?

Mr. Rippon

All these questions as to how the situation will be dealt with will have to be discussed with the local authorities concerned. The maximum number of people which we think Cornwall would have to receive would be about 350,000.