HC Deb 31 March 1983 vol 40 c451
6. Mr. Eastham

asked the Secretary of State for the home Department how many nuclear shelters there are in the Greater Manchester area; and what is the total number of people they can hold.

Mr. Mayhew

There are no public nuclear shelters in Greater Manchester.

Mr. Eastham

Is it not a disgrace that the Minister should talk about civil defence and at the same time admit that Manchester with a population of 2.75 million has no nuclear shelters? It proves that so-called civil defence is a complete sham. The Government know that there is no civil defence against nuclear weapons.

Mr. Mayhew

The hon. Gentleman is wrong. He knows, or should know, that we must plan against conventional attack, no less than against nuclear attack. On any scale of attack on this country that can be foreseen as having any conceivable military purpose there would be millions of survivors. It is everyone's humanitarian duty to plan against that eventuality.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Are not hon. Members from Manchester trying to have it both ways? They say that there should be no civil defence and nuclear defence and then they criticise the Government when they discover that one area has no nuclear shelters.

Mr. Mayhew

Oh, yes. That is not new. I wonder whether the Manchester city council, which is the flagship of the so-called nuclear-free zone council movement, might consider proposing to protect its people—after all it is two-thirds of Manchester's police committee—against crime by proposing a burglar-free zone.