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By M. Grant

Civil defence used to be a vital part of Britain’s smooth background. through the chilly conflict it was once a crucial reaction of the British executive to the specter of conflict. This book is the 1st heritage of the arrangements to struggle a nuclear struggle taken in Britain among the tip of the second one international struggle and 1968.

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Extra resources for After The Bomb: Civil Defence and Nuclear War in Cold War Britain, 1945-68

Sample text

104 The Civil Defence Act The meeting which postponed the shelter census also finally killed off the notion of a separate emergency plan. 105 Five days later, James Chuter Ede introduced the second reading of the Civil Defence Bill. The eventual Civil Defence Act of 1948 set out the intended structure of the Civil Defence Corps and other services which were established in mid-1949. 106 In his speech Ede did, however outline the basic civil defence policy (such as shelter and evacuation provision) which had been produced before Berlin, the intended structure of the future civil defence organisation and the planning organisation in the Home Office, praising the work of the Chief Scientific Advisor and the Civil Defence Joint Planning Staff.

The formative years of cold war civil defence planning are instructive in other ways, for they demonstrate the importance of coherent government machinery when dealing with complex issues that cut across traditional boundaries. The lack of adequate co-ordination and higher direction, common across nuclear issues,117 severely impeded the formation of civil defence policy and could have had enormous consequences had the Berlin crisis turned into a hot war. Also, the distrust the government clearly felt of the public over atomic and civil defence issues was another portent of the future.

The first set of regulations, ‘The Civil Defence (General) Regulations, 1949’,113 and ‘The Civil Defence Corps Regulations, 1949’,114 were issued on 27 July 1949, and came into force on 10 August 1949. 116 Conclusion At the end of 1948, the British Government had a long-term civil defence plan outlined, but hardly in place. It had taken three years of slow thought, firstly to understand the implications of the atomic bomb, then to apply those implications to civil defence. As a long-term policy document was completed, the Berlin crisis forced attention to turn to emergency planning in case global war occurred.

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