HC Deb 11 May 1971 vol 817 cc76-7W
Q8. Sir D. Renton

asked the Prime Minister whether he will, as part of the Home Defence Review, reconsider the present division between the Home Secretary and the Secretary of State for the Environment whereby each of them has different responsibilities with regard to peace-time emergencies while the Home Secretary is responsible for civil defence in war-time.

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is responsible for the co-ordination of civil defence. He is also responsible for co-ordinating Government action between Departments on major peacetime emergencies. When an emergency arises within the field of a single Department, it will normally fall to the Minister in charge of that Department to take the lead. I see no reason to change these arrangements.