Air Raids (Regional Commissioners' Statements)

Oral Answers to Questions — Civil Defence – in the House of Commons on 22nd October 1942.

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Photo of Mr George Reakes Mr George Reakes , Wallasey

asked the Home Secretary what steps he proposes to take to discourage Regional Commissioners from making statements prophesying heavy air-raids and so creating alarm and despondency among the civilian population, particularly in danger areas?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

It is right and proper that warnings should be given to the Civil Defence Services and the civil population to be in a state of readiness for heavy raids, and in my view it would be a reflection on the people of this country to suggest that such warnings would create alarm and despondency.

Photo of Mr William Brown Mr William Brown , Rugby

Can steps be taken to ensure that Ministers should speak with one voice on this subject?

Viscountess Astor:

Is it not often the case that in devastated areas the authorities go fast asleep once a raid is over, and is it not necessary that they should be warned of what might happen?

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

In view of the statement made by a certain Commissioner and its apparent contradiction with that made by the Prime Minister, which interpretation of possible events can we accept?

Photo of Mr Herbert Morrison Mr Herbert Morrison , Hackney South

My hon. Friend will have seen that I spoke with the authority of the Prime Minister on Sunday, and there is a perfect reconciliation of any apparently superficial differences.