HC Deb 18 December 1952 vol 509 cc257-8W
Mr. Ian Harvey

asked the Seceretary of State for the Home Department to make a statement with regard to the status of industrial Civil Defence.

Sir D. Maxwell Fyfe

Problems affecting industrial and commercial Civil Defence units (including those formed by the nationalised industries) have been discussed with those concerned through the medium of the Industrial Panel of the Civil Defence Joint Planning Staff, and agreement has been reached on the principles to govern the status of those units in relation to the Civil Defence Corps and allied services.

No statutory authority is needed to provide for the organisation and training of units to carry out Civil Defence duties at their places of work in the event of war; and the larger employers of labour in the major built-up areas are cooperating to organise such units on a voluntary basis following suggestions made in Civil Defence Industrial Bulletin No. 1, which was published in June, 1951. The progress so far made is encouraging.

Civil defence units which are formed in compliance with the principles set out in that Bulletin will constitute the Industrial Civil Defence Service. These units will not be part of the Civil Defence Corps, but will be trained on similar lines to the Corps and will operate in close association with it. I am arranging for a badge to be designed incorporating the letters "I.C.D.S.," and on application by any undertaking complying with the conditions set out in the Bulletin a certificate will be issued in my name or that of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland authorising the undertaking to issue these badges to the members of its civil defence unit.

If those responsible for the organisation of such Civil Defence units propose to provide uniform for their members, my right hon. Friend and I would suggest that it should take the form of the standard battledress tunic, trousers (or skirt) and beret, with the Service badge and the name of the undertaking.

It will be part of these arrangements that units authorised to wear the I.C.D.S. badge will follow advice on training and organisation given from time to time by the Home Departments, and will be prepared to give all reasonable and practical co-operation to the Home Departments and to the Civil Defence Corps Authority in whose area the undertaking is situated.

Detailed arrangements to implement these principles will appear after further consultation as a Civil Defence Industrial Bulletin. It is clear that the Industrial Civil Defence Service will need to absorb only a fraction of the persons working in industry and commerce, and my right hon. Friend and I hope that those not needed for industrial units will be encouraged by their employers to join the Civil Defence Corps or one of the allied services.

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