HC Deb 16 May 1968 vol 764 c1391
25. Sir D. Renton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to ensure that local authorities will in future have sufficient trained staff with knowledge of the complicated civil defence communications equipment which is to be kept on a care and maintenance basis, and the experience and opportunities to train other people to help them to operate such equipment in an emergency.

Mr. Ennals

Most of the line communications and much of the radio equipment for civil defence are similar to equipment in normal peace-time use. We are discussing with local authorities how knowledge and experience of communications as well as other civil defence matters can best be maintained.

Sir D. Renton

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that on the funds at present proposed by the Government the equipment may not be kept ready for use in an emergency? Neither will there be experts to deal with it if an emergency comes. Will the hon. Gentleman have second thoughts about this?

Mr. Ennals

I have explained to the House and to the right hon. and learned Gentleman the facilities which exist in the Home Office Defence Training School at Easingwold. In the courses we run there there will be opportunities for local government personnel to take part. These will include signals matters and the use of other equipment.