Orders of the Day — Civil Defence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th March 1968.

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Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire 12:00 am, 28th March 1968

I do not intend to, Mr. Speaker, because I have done it in previous debates. But I am showing that, with the enormous destructive power of nuclear weapons, there is no real defence to justify the Government spending a considerable amount of money on it at a time of financial crisis. We cannot do what the United States does, for example. The Americans spend large sums of money on civil defence. In most of their large cities there are underground shelters and they are preparing an anti-ballistic missile system. We cannot do that, so we must be sensible and realise that warfare has changed. The world must adapt its political and economic thinking to that fundamental fact.

In previous debates, we have been told that Russia has over 300 submarines. Both sides are piling up destructive power. The situation can only be solved by a change in foreign policy and a policy of disarmament. I support the Government. I wish they would continue on this course. They have become realists as far as civil defence is concerned and I wish there were a similar note of realism towards the rest of the defence programme, on which we are spending over £2,060 million.