asked the Home Secretary whether, as a general practice, local authorities are entitled to withdraw from public discussion controversial matters affecting their Civil Defence organisation; and whether his Department has any locus standi in endeavouring to adjust difficulties between a local authority and its Civil Defence leaders?
Many local authorities have standing orders affecting the admission of the public to their discussions but I am sending my hon. Friend a copy of a circular recently issued to local authorities on the subject by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health, and I do not think that I can usefully add anything to the advice given in that circular. As regards the last part of the Question, it is one of the functions of my Department to secure the smooth working of Civil Defence and to assist in adjusting difficulties which may be brought to notice and which may jeopardise the efficiency of the Civil Defence organisation in any area.