Prepare for survival; Who needs civil defense?
Missing you is sad and a world with a nuclear bomb. Instead of me the National Association of educational broadcasters presents prepare for survival on our radio sounding board of facts and opinions on civil defense and show live from ending with mock World War 1 with World War 2 5 numbers 3. Civil defense. How to Survive an enemy attack. This is one of the inescapable problems of a time so ominously labeled the nuclear age. This series will examine civil defense preparedness. The critics will be heard as well as the supporters of civil defense participating in this program for example. Our governor Leo a hoist director of the Office of Civil and defense
mobilization. Dr. Ellis Johnson director of the Johns Hopkins operation research office nuclear physicist Dr. Ralphie lap. Senator Steven M. Young representative Chet Hollyfield journalist I f stone and Mr. George Roderick's director of civil defense for the District of Columbia. These recordings made on location have been edited with the consent of the speaker and are presented in their original context. Congress has made civil defense a joint responsibility of the federal and state governments supporting these governments of course are we the American people you and me. And what do we the people think about civil defense. Well Dr. Johnson Kamens tell us operation tray set shot for us. All right Shannon the director did make a study of the opinions held in
Washington D.C. And but specifically also in Montgomery County. And we found some facts about public opinion which are perhaps not too surprising we found for example that almost everyone had heard about fall out on because it's been well publicized throughout the nation. The problem of all the effects of radiation are very well appreciated by almost everyone. On the other hand we found only a small percentage perhaps 20 or 30 percent who worried about fire and the effects of fire. And you know metropolitan area not out in the country. Frappe from my primary tag in the metropolitan area fryer is
an extremely great has since effects of a thermonuclear bomb of live size and they're not too unusual near logical conditions can extend far out to 20 to 50 miles from the tag and that means that you have to cope not only with blast and radiation and follow but with the fire itself and the effects of the fire. Most people however or very interested and getting a lot more information about civil defense they said they didn't have much information and it was clear that they hadn't got the word from the office of civilian defense and love us ation that all knows what I mean the
papers should be free like everyone a little to a certain extent what you yourself are supposed to do about a future might seem like a fate I want to borrow trouble. We the People Americans shopping in a suburban supermarket. Leo a whore a former governor of Iowa now director of the Office of Civil and defense mobilization for the federal government replies to a question on civil defense publicity following Gov. Hoyer. Is Senator Stephen M. Young of Ohio an opponent of current civil defense practice working with the Boy Scouts of America. We disseminated what is known as the handbook for emergencies. That's a good basic document that everybody ought to keep in his home and everybody ought to put it into action and be prepared to take actions as prescribed the rent
that was distributed by the Boy Scouts of America to over thirty eight million homes in October of 950. How many people didn't get it but they're available if they'll go to their local civil defense office. You know this that if we would mail literature to everyone throughout the country many of them would put it in the waste baskets and we're not there to fill waste baskets of Iraq. We failed that through this means like I am now participating with you on this good program. That's a means of informing people. Well there's there's really no no good leadership in that it's filled with sub average planners and they get out thousands and thousands of pamphlets and distribute them. And to have a boy scout to youngsters think they're entering a service they distribute those patterns that said hardly anyone reads. I held
up I held up on the floor of the Senate a bushel basket full of pamphlets that had been issued at expense to the taxpayer. Governor Hoyt explains how civil defense leaders are chosen Prez of the United States selects of course the director of the Office of Civil and defense mobilization and he of course appointed me and the mayor picks his the governor picks him and I am sure that they are guided by what they consider the best individual to do the job. I think it's most important that he understands how to work with governments at the state the local and the federal level. And that he's dedicated that's most important and that he knows his business. I think OCD M. has done an excellent job of providing the necessary information especially in
the last year or two I think under the governor. Horray excellent progress has been made in providing all of the necessary technical information that you will need in our true construct either a basement shelter or a shelter outside. This information is available in detail technical drawings and if you're really interested in the in the all CDM publications as almost every conceivable kind of information that you need to understand the whole problem nuclear physicist Dr Ralphy lab is one participant in this series who spoke both as a content authority and as a private citizen. Doctor lab is the thought author of numerous books and articles on matters related to
survival in this nuclear age. Some of the titles are a must we hide radiation physics and atoms and people. His latest being fallout. A study of Super by Strontium 90 and survival. This was written in conjunction with the chairman of the House Military Operations Subcommittee representative Chet Hollyfield and several other scientific and technical specialists Dr. Lab. was asked by our producer to comment on a Senate speech by New York Sen. Jacob Javits which asserted the lack of congressional concern for civil defense Senator Javits observed and we quote civil defense is getting to be a topic much like the weather. Everyone talks about it but no one does much about it. While I guess the observation that everybody talks about it but nobody does anything about it is true.
And I think the reason nobody does anything about it is that you can't expect the ordinary householder who is worried about the cost of children's call the human cost of education and getting a new car to implant down several hundred dollars and perhaps even a thousand dollars to build himself a shelter in the basement and stock it with food and then if he does need looks around sees nobody else doing he will say Well my problem is not that I have a shelter. My problem begins after the bomb goes off and all my friends in quotation marks try to come home. My problem will be to get a machine gun and mow them down to keep them from coming in here. A very I'm joking about this but it will not be a joke when it happens. If it ever happens and I think that there we come to perhaps the real question about several things namely is it necessary. Yes this is a really profound question to ask because you're not going to get the average little man in his suburban home or in an apartment to do something about a problem which the government seems to regard as rather a theory all mythical and of
no substance. And this seems to me that you have to have the really irreplaceable element the situation the element of leadership. And this leadership must necessarily be in such a matter of grave importance to us must come from the executive in the White House that that leadership has not been actions. This is something that I meet of course every place I go at this question and it's a good one and I have since I met I meet at every place I go I've had a chance to give it a lot of thought. It all ends up with people referring to something called public apathy. You see the apathetic public about civil rights in a class I I do know that this is so that the public is apathetic. That was the voice of Mr. George Roderick's civil defense director of the District of Columbia. And since the district is not under the jurisdiction of any state his office combines the functions of both state and city civil defense
commenting next on public opinion. Is Governor Hoy maybe two three years ago it was too favorable. I think that there's been a markedly improvement in that attitude today because people know that our planning is. People know that our plans are with national approval for Ensign's the national plan for civil and defense mobilization was promoted aided by the president of the United States think that it's one of the few countries in the world where there's overall plan has been widely disseminated to those that have to put it into action that was promoted by a president. As a matter of fact that plan is being followed by many of our allied countries. They look to us as a leader in civil defense and I think the American people now realize that we're not trying to
Course or frighten them. I think that what is needed here in Washington is everyplace else is leadership leadership on the part of the people who have the civil defense responsibility leadership. To me means getting out and spreading the gospel. Supporting the community organizations when they try to adopt civil defense plans helping them when they need to know or want to know and trying at all times to tell them the truth. To level with them and not try to gloss any of this thing over. I think sometimes the people who are in positions like mine when the going is a little rough and they get a little discouraged they have a tendency to try to say to the people well don't worry about it I'm really not worried you say. And of course this isn't saw. We are worried we're greatly concerned. So I think strong leadership is the thing if there's apathy a weakness and it usually is found in the leadership group and not necessarily in the public's eye.
We're trying to merrily inform them intelligently as to the effects and the steps they must take to protect themselves from it. And next we're trying also to convey and I think people recognize this and that this isn't hopeless. This can be done. This is not a just dressing thing. This isn't depressive. This is a way for American people to contribute patriotically to the strength of their nation and they find out now that civil defense is not something out here in the left field. It's a part of the total defense structure of this nation. It's something that is everybody's business and that everyone has a responsibility to accomplish. And for that reason I am confident that the American people today have a more wholesome attitude toward civil defense preparedness. It needs strengthening constantly in order a World War Two
or prior to it. We let our military defenses way down. People became sort of calloused to defense and they became complacent unconcern. However fortunately in 59 now and 60 the American people know how important it is to keep your guard up. I want people also to recognize however the total Guard is not unless we are prepared from a civil defense standpoint and I think more people recognize that. But it's most difficult to have them brought up in this nuclear age to recognizing that they must get their individual preparedness perform. Well there are several sides it whenever civil defense direct is in this country get together. That is the state directors. They talk about
increased leadership coming from the national government. But this is true isn't it with educate is said and what you name it. People in public want the national government to lead what they really mean is that they're having a tough job getting the fun's in there from the state legislatures all the local county or city organizations and they want the federal government to reach into the barrel and give them money to support the programs. On the other hand when I attend meetings of national agencies I hear them criticizing state civil defense people and local people. As a matter of fact by the time you get down to the little town you say you find little or no activity because he the local leader he discouraged with the state of the county and the national leadership now this is a tremendous problem and one that has to be resolved of course at the highest level of leadership comes from on high and in our system here in this country I think that the leadership must be shared. And when I say shared Congress has recently enacted a new civil
defense law an amendment to the old one called Public Law 6 0 6 of the Eighty fifth session of Congress. And there they have met some of the criticism by saying that civil defense in the United States is a joint responsibility of the federal and state governments where before that time the public the Civil Defense Act of Congress said that the primary responsibility for civil defense rests with the sovereign states. Well this has been changed fortunately. And now we look to Congress to implement Public Law 6 0 6 by necessary programs. Where do we go from here. Three people reply first representative Jett Hollyfield who is chairman of the House Military Operations Subcommittee which is held for years of hearings on civil defense and nuclear war. Following representative Hollyfield will be OSI DMN director Leo a Hoya. And third is Mr
I.F. Stone Mr. Stone is a prominent Washington journalist now edits and publishes the independent newsletter. I have stones Weekly. Here's Mr. Holly for you. Well you asked me where do we go. This is the $64 question. If the president would come out and tell the American people the danger that they're in in case of nuclear attack and then at the same time suggest a constructive program to protect the American people I'm sure that the Congress would respond as it has responded to other messages of the president in regard to our national security. We are appropriating about 50 billion dollars a year for our military defense and fans. A military defense which cannot defend the people against nuclear attack. I am sure that the comparatively moderate amount that would need be needed to build
shelters would be provided by the Congress if the president backed with the National Security Council and the Joint Chiefs of Staff would propose such a program to the Congress and to the people. The governor Hoyer is President Eisenhower giving us good civil defense leadership. I think tremendous leadership. And if you've read some of his recent statements I think he above any other president that I know has made the strongest statements in the support of the civil defense effort throughout this country and he's one of the great leaders of course of our time throughout the world. And when he speaks out it not only has an influence with people in this country but throughout the world. I think that the president is dubious about civil defense for I think first of all the president doesn't
know a good deal about war he's a lifelong soldier rundown and whatever you might think of his abilities or capacities in other respects I think you have to be it's very foolish. Not to recognize he's been in this business all his life and he does have access to a great deal. All the secret classified information. And he is a responsible man and I think what he says has to be taken seriously. I don't think that he I think when he said a press conference war is preposterous he just meant that. It was preposterous. But he doesn't think a civil defense really will defend. I think that's basically his attitude. Civil defense then is an issue for the American people. Dr. Lapp States the problem and offers his personal answer. So I think you can't expect the little man to do something on his own unless he sees that the government is worried about it and is going to do something about it. And again I come back
to the question the average man will say is it necessary. I want to answer that question rather candidly I believe it is necessary. It is necessary because despite all that may happen in the next 10 years despite the possibility that we may have some kind of international agreement with the Russians there is no question that the weapons now in stockpiles present a fantastic hazard to civilization. I'd like to if I could to give a little speech at this point I guess I'm giving a long one anyway. But I do it with your permission I'd like to spell out something what I consider to be the nature of this thing. First of all I think that the sheer power of the weapon has soared to almost unimaginable proportions. We've gone to where we no longer talk of thousands of tons of TNT equivalent in a weapon the kind of bomb that was detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We have gone to weapons as power is a thousand times more. And these can be carried in one bomb and we have
manufactured enough of this material. It is not expensive. It is not nearly as difficult to make as one would believe. And my own personal estimate I warn you it is personal it is not authenticated by the government is that we have an existence on this planet earth today the equivalent of 30 billion tons of TNT. Now to translate that that means for every person for the plumber down the street for the bookkeeper up the street there are 10 tons of TNT in existence for everyone including the children. Now that's just a fabulous amount of explosive to play side by side with a man who hasn't learned how to control himself. And I'd go on to a second point and that is that it isn't just that there is so much explosive in the whole equation but that the nature of this weapon is radically new. Most particularly the nature of fall out which can cover such a great area even if a bomb misses by 50 miles the fallout
may not miss. And in the event of any concerted attack upon the United States it's quite clear that you can take and encompass the whole area east of the Mississippi in a mantle of fallout which would be such that you could not walk the earth for some time afterwards and buy some time and we come now to what I consider to be one of the new dimensions of nuclear war. That is we've introduced a new biological killing agent we've introduced a silent and invisible and unsound killing agent in the form of fallout and this continues to persist in time so that you just do not have to avoid it. The first minute or the first hour but you have to avoid it on the first day in the first week and you have to be careful after the first month. That certainly introduces a completely new dimension into the whole problem of surviving and you cannot survive by bravery. You cannot survive by some kind of heroics. You have to get yourself some really decent shelter.
And thirdly I think that the time dimension of the whole problem has been revolutionized by the development of the Intercontinental the oceans banning ballistic missiles. And this is in itself just as much of a change in the way of things as are the nuclear weapons themselves because it means that within a matter of an hour you can have a raid upon the United States and I hope we'll come back to that question of the knock off raid. But it does mean that you have compressed the whole element of time and that has some very radical implications for the conduct of warfare. Now I believe that if we then take in can if we can summarize those three effects first the nature of the nuclear weapon the numbers of the weapons that are available in stockpile and the delivery systems. These all to my way of thinking spell out the magnitude of the problem. And no nation
in our history of this planet has ever been called upon to meet with such a threat. This is an utterly new feature. Now I am an atomic scientist and I've lived with this thing for over two decades. And I've written I guess to be a modest I've written more about this than anyone else United States. And yet I find many of my friends fellow scientist have become rather blasé about this. They they seem to think that if you say anything once that that's enough and that is not true you must say it over and over and over because the communication is a very halting and slow thing. And so you have to to emphasize the obvious. You have to tell people just what the nature of this thing is and you have to tell them it's not going to vanish with the coming day it will be with us for this whole decade unless we find some way of combating it. So that's the way in which I would get the answer to the first key question is civil defense necessary.
My answer Yes it is. But there are other is another Manas coronary to that question and that is. It can't really be effective. Is it worthwhile doing. And I think that comes back and you were probably just getting ready to ask me the question about the knockout blow. And it's my impression that many people have the feeling that this is all so devastating is also that the just no hope of doing anything just might as well put your marbles in your pocket go away there just nothing you can do about it. There's no question and I think that I'm not trying to underestimate the hazards. There's no question that the challenge is a supreme one but there is also no question in my mind that there is plenty we can do about it. If we really get the leadership and if we really recognize what the hazards are we've had a long time actually to be doing something about it and we've wasted that time.
And so you can't expect that overnight or in a few months you're going to build a structure of a defense against this thing which has been building up for almost two decades itself. The kind of effort you're going to have to make here is almost comparable with the kind of effort we have put into our military defense and I think that in comparing military and civil defense you may have more lasting value in civil defense. Then you have a military defense. I was down in Arizona not too long ago and saw some of these be 36 bombers and other classes of bombers just wasting away in the sun sand. We paid a lot of money for those things. It was worthwhile at the time but now other know that their value is gone. I think that a well conceived shelter program costing a fraction of the total cost of our defense over a period of 10 years would give lasting
value. However I think that there are many other aspects to that question and the decision for our nation to undertake a really meaningful civil defense cannot be taken with a disregard for our foreign policy and for many other factors in our national life. We live on World War 2 survive number three prepare for survival is a radio sounding board for facts and opinions on civil defense written and produced by Richard chick and directed by Alan Murdock. Our next program the hydrogen bomb and its effect recording editor at Rheem music by Rowena Dan Logan speaking
- Prepare for survival
- Who needs civil defense?
- Producing Organization
- WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program anayzes the need for civil defense preparedness and features interviews with several people involved in the process.
- Other Description
- A radio sounding board for facts and opinions on civil defense.
- Broadcast Date
- Public Affairs
- Media type
Director: Murdoch, Alan
Guest: Stone, I. F. (Isidor Feinstein), 1907-1989
Guest: Young, Stephen M. (Stephen Marvin), 1889-1984
Guest: Holifield, Chet, 1903-1995
Guest: Johnson, Ellis A.
Guest: Hoegh, Leo A. (Leo Arthur), 1908-
Guest: Lapp, Ralph E., 1917-2004
Performer: Reed, Tom
Producer: Schick, Richard
Producing Organization: WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
Writer: Schick, Richard
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 60-52-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “Prepare for survival; Who needs civil defense?,” 1960-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 16, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-8c9r5x6w.
- MLA: “Prepare for survival; Who needs civil defense?.” 1960-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 16, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-8c9r5x6w>.
- APA: Prepare for survival; Who needs civil defense?. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-8c9r5x6w