§ 5. Mr. Gerald Bowden
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make it his policy to promote the formation of a consultative body consisting of representatives of the trade unions, industry and his Department to co-ordinate the role of industry in civil protection.
§ Mr. Bowden
I must confess to being somewhat disappointed with my right hon. Friend's reply. Does he not recognise the importance of the fact that all parties to industry should be prepared for emergencies and should plan for disasters. Against the background of the new responsibility of so many local authorities, is it not right that my hon. Friend's Department should give some lead in those consultations?
§ Mr. Pattie
What my hon. Friend asks is not to deny that the civil contingencies unit exists and that the Government engage in planning for the sort of eventuality 257 that he describes. In response to the second part of his question, I should say that information that enables worthwhile civil contingencies plans to be drawn up is not made any easier by the fact that certain local authorities seem to decide that they will not co-operate in the provision of the necessary information.