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Nuclear Attack

Volume 649: debated on Monday 13 November 1961

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will now indicate the estimated number of civilian survivors in the event of this country being subjected to a full-scale nuclear attack.

The number of survivors would depend on so many variable factors that no worthwhile estimate can be given.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate, in the light of known evidence, the period of time the civilian population will be subject to danger from possible nuclear fall-out contamination in the event of this country being subjected to a full-scale nuclear attack.

The extent and duration of the hazard from fall-out after nuclear attack would depend on the number and size of weapons used, where they fell, the height of burst and the wind and weather conditions. The Home Office pamphlets "Nuclear Weapons" and "Radioactive Fall-Out: Provisional Scheme of Public Control" give information about danger levels, the rate at which radiation decays and protective measures.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department the estimated number of deep air raid shelters required to ensure safety for the civilian population in the event of this country being subjected to a full-scale nuclear attack.

No estimate has been made. Provision on a nation-wide scale of deep shelter would not be feasible.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will indicate what items of equipment will be required by the civilian population to ensure safety from contamination from nuclear fall-out in the event of this country being subjected to a full-scale nuclear attack; and if he will now take steps for a distribution of such equipment to the general public.

The measures described in the official publications "The Hydrogen Bomb" and "Nuclear Weapons" do not require the issue of special equipment to members of the public.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has made to ensure that persons contaminated by nuclear fall-out will not endanger the safety of uncontaminated persons in the event of this country being subjected to a full-scale nuclear attack.

Guidance is given in the Home Office pamphlet "Nuclear Weapons" on the removal of contamination from the skin and clothing. But the danger to others from a person contaminated with radioactive fall-out is a relatively minor one compared with the danger of radiation from surrounding fall-out.