Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th May 1983.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the new edition of "Protect and Survive" will be made available to the public; and whether free copies will be provided for training civil defence volunteers.
We expect the successor to "Protect and Survive" to be ready for publication early next year.
Under the draft civil defence grant regulations, local authorities will be eligible for reimbursement of the cost of the training of volunteers, including that of any publications necessarily issued to them.
In view of the growing interest in this matter and its undoubted importance, will my hon. and learned Friend examine the possibility of producing audiovisual and other aids so that the message can be got over as clearly and effectively as possible?
Yes. Audio-visual versions of the new document will be available through the Central Film Library, just as war crises tapes are already available. It is an important matter and we want to give it wide publicity.
Will the hon. and learned Gentleman bear in mind that, in the past few years, Government instructions about what we should do in the event of nuclear attack have varied? We were told that we must all stay in our homes; then that we must evacuate. We are now told, I believe, that some of us must stay at home and others must evacuate. Will he assure us that this new edition of "Protect and Survive" will be his last word on the matter? Otherwise, there is a danger that it will not be taken seriously.
I am glad to hear the implication in the hon. Lady's question that she believes that civil defence ought to be taken seriously. I hope that she will press that view on her colleagues in the Labour party. It is important that advice to the country should change and keep pace with developments. That is what my right hon. Friend is determined to secure.