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Civil Defence Centres (School Sites)

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 8 April 1954

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asked the Minister of Education (1) whether she is aware of the dangers involved in building Civil Defence centres as adjuncts to school premises; in how many cases she has sanctioned such action; and whether she will make a statement;(2) what were her reasons for sanctioning the siting of a Civil Defence centre beneath the extensions to be made to the Northgate Grammar School, Ipswich; what protests she has received against this decision; whether she is aware of the anxiety of teachers on this question; and whether she will make a statement.

I see no reason to think that the provision of a Civil Defence control centre as part of a school building would increase the danger to which it would be exposed in time of war. I have agreed to one such proposal on conditions designed to ensure no interference with school activities in peace time. I have not yet finally sanctioned the Ipswich proposal to which the hon. Member refers, but I have told the local authority that, if they can satisfy me on certain points, I should have no objection to it. I have received five protests, three of which relate to a resolution passed by the Ipswich Association of the National Union of Teachers, one comes from the Grammar School Parent-Teacher Association and one from a private person.