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May I tell you and this is Steve Young United States senator from Ohio. Speaking from my office in Washington that I'm very glad to come into your homes and answer all questions ask me and state my position regarding civil defense. Senator do we have a civil defense to the civil defense in the United States is a myth. And I'm mannish and that unfortunately the taxpayers of our country in the last nine and a half years have spent one billion dollars not million dollars one billion dollars. On this civil defense set up so-called. Which is staffed by has been political hacks and defeated politicians occupying positions of authority and receiving high salaries. Is this a case on both the federal level and the state level.
It is the case on the federal level on state level and city level. For example the administrator of the Office of Civil Defense administration is Leo hoing. He was governor of Iowa. He sure one term the citizens of that state did not think enough of him to give him the customary second term. But don't feel sorry for him. His salary as governor was $12000 a year. President Eisenhower immediately appointed him as administrator of civil defense in the United States and his salary is twenty two thousand five hundred dollars. And here you see my office as a senator. It's an adequate office but you should see the L'Arche offices administrators here in Washington and in many of our states.
The National Association of educational broadcasters presents prepare for survival a radio sounding board for facts and opinions on civil defense. True. Civil defense was defined by the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 as the production of American lives and property from enemy attack. The federal government's responsibility for guiding and informing the people on such matters was vested in the Office of Civil and defense mobilization and later in
1958 divided between the federal office and the state offices throughout the country. Supporters of civil defense have argued that such defense says bombing fallout shelters are necessary in a time when a single hydrogen bomb can completely destroy any city in the world. Dissenters who feel civil defense measures are futile have countered civil defense proposals. They point out that civil defense leads to a suicidal race in which each side builds shelters lowing their populations into a false sense of security and a willingness to participate in a nuclear war which neither side could survive. This program begins the presentation of the actual civil defense policies and measures which have already been taken to cope with the problem of preparing for survival in the nuclear age. Dr. Oscar Morgenstern professor of political economics at the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton is a member of the
advisory panel to the military applications subcommittee of the Joint Congressional Committee on atomic energy. A consultant to the Atomic Energy Commission and on the board of scientific advisors to Convair aerodynamics Dr. Morgan Stern has recently written a book entitled The question of national defense. He now reports on the status of civil defense civil defense program. What form an integral part of our national defense system. Unfortunately we have no such sound program. And besides even if we had a sound program it would not be enough because if it were only to remain on paper it would be nothing. It would have to be implemented. In fact there is no implementation except some sirens occasionally used in tests. Howling from rooftops. But even these are not heard over the din of traffic.
And they are not hurt at all in the open country where there are no such warning possibilities except through the accidental release of warning through radio. So we must find unfortunately that we are ill prepared and that we have nothing. If a major thermonuclear attack were to come and if it were directed even against our military installations and not against the open cities we would suffer grieve us loss. If they were if the attack were directed against the open cities as we must very well assume might be the case. We can make two observations. First the cities cannot be defended against blast. We have no shelters against blast and the operation to protect the major population centers in this manner would involve utterly fantastic expenditures
and an effort of industry which I am sure this country is not willing to undertake. So there is no chance for the big cities to survive if they are attacked and that is to say if they are attacked in such a way that even one single multi megaton bomb gets through to a city. And who can say that this would not be the case. On the contrary we can be certain it would be so. Now it is quite different in the open country. The open country were not be directly attacked. There are no targets there or if there are targets they are not worth expenditure of very heavy weapons. But the open country is also affected because the fall out the radioactive dust which would spread from a major attack. Again irrelevant whether it would come from the attack on military targets or from the attack on cities. This radioactive dust would spread all over the
country. If we have North fallout shelters then a great many millions of people would die who could be saved if fallout shelters existed. Now these finite shelters could easily be built. It would not be a tremendous operation of a nature which the country could not stand. Plan success and models have been worked out fortunately by the civil defense. Office is as to what these fall out shelters would look like. But nobody builds them. And besides why should any individual have built them. He does not want to. Come out of a fallout shelter among the dead only. What would be necessary for him would be to be a part of a firm organisation involving all his neighbors so that there is a joint chance for the
survivors to arise from the time after in the tack so that they jointly could start life again but unfortunately no efforts are being made in this direction. And this is one of the major drawbacks in our entire defense posture. Of course the man most qualified to speak for our current state of civil defense preparedness is the director of the Office of Civil and defense mobilization. Governor Leo Eyharts of course insofar as the federal government is concerned. When we issued the national plan for civil and defense mobilization which not only set forth as I mentioned the mission how it's to be accomplished and by whom. But also it set into motion the preparation by every federal department and agency of
this government to do its role to perform its role. Now from a federal standpoint I'd say that we are well on our way on this preparation. And then of course with reference to the states they've done great things to get themselves prepared for Ensign's one of the vital parts of this paradise is that government be in existence after this war hits. And therefore we urge that every government the federal state local level have establish lines of succession for key officials. That they have an alternate site for the control and for the direction of this effort of support and service that they preserve essential records so that people's rights can be protected in case of a nuclear attack and for that they make maximum use of all personnel and resources at each of these levels of government
in the federal role. These four steps have been provided. You see we have those preparations made at the state roll. I give you this example. Forty three states in one thousand fifty nine the legislatures of these 43 states considered legislation to put these points into effect. Thirty four of them and acted laws to do these things or parts of these things. Local governments are now taking action to do likewise. Now with reference to the citizenry. We can't prepare the citizen other than as I might mention to you and inform them of the facts and how they must protect themselves from it. Many of people know what they're supposed to do. Many more are do not know. And that's the reason I am so anxious to participate on this program
because I want to be sure every citizen does know the effects and how to protect themselves from it. The state and local governments help us if we get these appropriations from Congress to support them to help finance on a matching basis. The staffs of civil defense at the state local level that will also accelerate this program so that we get knowledge to people. And while I cannot say that everyone is prepared I can say this that many citizens are but many more need to prepare themselves. It starts with the citizen. The moment someone advocates that a large public mass civil defense program should be provided for the American people. He's advocating that government should be responsible for government to be responsible requires new laws and passing new laws is a matter for Congress or state
legislatures. Thus the implementation of civil defense measures is primarily a political function. As Senator Humphrey pointed out in a speech to be partially read by his legislative counsel Mr John Flynn. The responsibility for civil defense revolves on the people responsible for government and so ultimately you and me a broad national program has been drafted command centers for emergency operation of the government have been established and detailed survival projects have been developed and responsibilities for conduct in the nation's civil defense have been assigned but the civilian survival program exist today only on the drafting boards. The basic foundations of such a program. Protection from radiation rehabilitation of vital communications and emergency maintenance of the economy simply do not exist as anyone who has inspected the nation's civil defense knows not a major city in America could evacuate or shelter 10 percent of its
population in the event of a nucular strike except in totally inadequate makeshift shelter areas. Nor does adequate fallout shelter exist in communities or elsewhere throughout the country to protect the remainder of the population from the deadly effects of widespread radiation which would follow in the wake of an atomic or hydrogen attack. Even if major cities could evacuate their populations in advance of an attack as if you have on a token basis in carefully prearranged hypothetical exercises either rehabilitation or reception centers exist to protect them from Fallout which in heavy concentrations is as lethal as a direct impact of a hydrogen bomb. Senator Humphrey does not point out these facts in criticism of the OCD M. nor of civil defense officials or workers at any level nor does he have but the highest admiration for hundreds of thousands of volunteers civil defense workers throughout the country who have contributed so much to the nation's civil defense program since its inception in 1050. They have in the main given their best to building a strong civil defense frequently
despite not only public apathy but official apathy in high places. Nor does Senator Humphrey overlook the fine efforts of the many mayors governors state civil defense directors and local civil defense officials who have created active civil defense programs to augment the national programs. The default in civil defense lies at much higher levels in the Congress. The White House and in the government's highest strategy councils to meet the dangers of nucular warfare. We have staked everything on our ability to retaliate coupled with an active defense system against bombers. Admittedly useless against missile attack. We cannot afford to continue to differentiate between national defense and civilian defense. My own impression of the organization is that its problems are on top and not inside nuclear physicist Dr Ralphie Lapp speaks here as an informed citizen. I think the problems as simple as having the director of the Office of Civil Defense mobilization go to the White
House with his problems and get told that he can't have any more money and this means to him that the problem isn't really very important and the it is you see there is that there's a good. In fact there are many good reasons for this. There's a good rationalization for this. We've never really been attacked in this way. The military have more or less trying to give the impression I feel are let's leave out motivation I think the military have given the impression that you should leave the defense of our country up to the defense establishment. Well that would have been all right in days gone by but it's no longer All right now. And so I believe there's this new factory in the defense equation and you have to bring in the nonmilitary aspect of it. But I want to feel that you have to get at the cause of the problem is right in the White House. And then if the man in the White House decides to move then I believe the country would respond.
Now if he just does not decide to move I think that there ought to be some explanation for why we are not planning to do this. This question has been asked Does Governor Hoyer have President Eisenhower's support. Well let me assure you the president is one of the strongest supporters of my program and I have never had any difficulty with obtaining executive approval of fun. The only difficulty I've had would be at the Congress. And I have not resolved that that's always going to be the case. I have confidence that the Congress will recognize this is a vital part of the total defense structure of the country and they will provide the funds that we've requested. And I'm pleased to report the president is always supporting our program and the funds that we need. I don't think the civil defense administration can move any faster than it's moving now. Unless the public and the Congress are fully behind it.
This is one of the problems don't you think so most. Yes indeed. This whole the matter of doing something about protection against the facts is unpleasant inconvenient and expensive. Governor has made rather remarkable progress and some areas since he has been the administrator of the agency I believe are the next few months our year. His public education program will accelerate the recognition on the part of the babus populace as and on the need for civil defense and along with this increased literacy on the need and the effects I believe will come an acceptance of civil defense as a normal routine day to day thing that a man does somewhat like going to work up protecting against fire. At the present time. Those were the personal opinions of Dr. Charles L. Dunham director of the
division of biology and medicine and Mr. Robert Kors Bayer director of civil effects tests for the Atomic Energy Commission. Mr. Rodricks Washington D.C. civil defense director interprets his responsibilities. My feeling here is director civil defense and this is something that we have talked to the commissioners about and I think we have a good understanding is that this Office of Civil Defense for the District of Columbia is nothing more than the office of the chief of staff for the disaster operations of the District of Columbia. I see a chief of staff who's chief of staff. Well the commission is when the commission is under the law the responsibility for conducting emergency actions in the District of Columbia. True they've delegated certain responsibilities to me in this office for daily operations. But my feeling is that this office is. Nothing more than a section of the commissions organization
maintaining a readiness posture here to be prepared at all times to advise the commissioners and help them in the discharge of their responsibilities. Continuing this over all of you general civil defense preparedness is Senator Henry M. Jackson of the state of Washington member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. And following Senator Jackson is Dr. Harold S. Luth who will comment on the American Medical Association and civil defense. Well very frankly we do not have the kind of civil defense program that I think we need. Fundamentally what we need today is to stockpile First of all certain critical items that are essential for the survival of our population. The concepts that have been set up in the past are no longer applicable today that problem of warning and so on
has no meaning as I see it. It may have some consequential effect but with missiles capable of reaching this country from launch to impact in 33 minutes the opportunity for adequate warning is not there. The need for food stockpiles the need for medical supplies and other essentials and I started to carry our population and our allies for an indefinite period I think are very important. And I say stockpiling of food and medical supplies and other essentials. I mean to have them stockpiled in areas that will be invulnerable to destruction. This is the important thing. The American Medical Association as a voluntary professional organization is lending great assistance in the form of advice and consultation and
such help as is possible through its membership to the official government agency the Office of Civil Defense civil and defense management mobilization in the coping with casualties and to the same degrade they are assisting the American National Red Cross in its problem of teaching people how to provide care for themselves. It's always a little difficult to try and compare actual preparedness with plans for preparedness at what stage is the medical profession now in its plans for sort of prepare preparation as compared with the actual preparedness of the doctors. As you indicated this is a difficult question to assess. Perhaps we could answer it by saying that the plans have progressed to such a state that there is a very large stockpiling of material.
For example the federal government both through the federal government and through the states have sufficient materials so that care can be given to upward to 10 million people for a period of about two and a half to three weeks. In addition to that in some communities the medical profession and the allied health professions are preparing themselves to cope with the problem of mass casualties. It would be rather difficult to give a single statement as to any degree are any numbers of people involved. We feel that the program is progressing perhaps not as fast as we'd like to see but there is a steady growth in the number of people who are prepared to cope with these rather dire emergencies. Dr Moose was interviewed for us in Chicago by Mr. Dick Ryan our communications to the. Mr. Stone
writes and publishes an independent weekly newsletter out of Washington DC which bears his name. Mr. Stone was a foreign news correspondent wrote a book called The Hidden Story of the Korean War. And recently Mr. Stone covered the congressional hearings on nuclear warfare and civil defense which have been discussed in other survival programs. Mr. Stone is one of several people who have been contributing some very solid criticisms of the whole concept of civil defense. And Mr. Stone shares the last word on this program with Dr. Donna. Well I don't think we have anything in the way of civil defense now. I'm rather dubious about civil defense because I think first of all it fosters illusions about our ability to survive a real atomic war. And secondly it distracts attention from the real problem the real problem is that
we must learn how to live together in peace that's the only way to protect ourselves. This is this pastor is the idea that by by some technical method some shelters some. Evacuation plans we can still go on carrying war with these tremendous weapons. I don't think we can I think we have to face up to it and civil defense distracts attention from that point and it's emphasized by often by people like Governor Rockefeller who who want us to be prepared to carry on nuclear war in a limited or all out fashion. Why I think Mr. Hoar AG's agency is looking at this thing in a very realistic fashion. There's always a problem in trying to make the thing clear to the public of striking a proper balance so that people aren't scared to death and develop defeatist
attitude that we spoke about a little while earlier. Or if you tend to under play it a little bit. Nobody will do anything. But I think the present civil defense administration has is very realistic in their approach to this. Everybody's scared of the word peace scared of the word coexistence scared of the real problem. All the money is going into the study. Greater means of destruction. A little bit of money and going into civil defense. Very little. And almost no government money is going into their really essential problem that is why the men hate each other. How can we teach them to live together civil defense has been a kind of a stepchild because the military don't want to spare a nickel for it. They prefer bigger weapons a boom boom. And they're hoping that if they put enough money in the in the
scientific slot machine as one scientist said to me a very clever scientist. If I just put enough in the slot machine to sooner or later I'll hit the jackpot. Wonderful. Destroy half a million of people half the people of the earth and save us. And from that power. We found.
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. The controversy civil defense evacuation policies will be discussed on the next program by Dr. Ellis Johnson director of the Johns Hopkins University Operations Research Office. Federal civil defense director Governor Leo and the local civil defense directors in Portland Oregon Washington D.C. and New York City recording editor Ed ream music by Rowena prepare for survival is recorded by Wayne State University Radio in Detroit for the National Association of educational broadcasters under a grant from the National Educational Television and Radio Center.
This is the Radio Network.
Prepare for survival
Civil defense today
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WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program assesses the then-current state of civil defense in the United States.
Series Description
A radio sounding board for facts and opinions on civil defense.
Broadcast Date
Public Affairs
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Announcer: Logan, Dan
Director: Murdoch, Alan
Guest: Stone, I. F. (Isidor Feinstein), 1907-1989
Guest: Young, Stephen M. (Stephen Marvin), 1889-1984
Guest: Hoegh, Leo A. (Leo Arthur), 1908-
Guest: Morgenstern, Oskar, 1902-1977
Guest: Jackson, Henry M. (Henry Martin), 1912-1983
Guest: Luth, Harold C.
Producer: Schick, Richard
Producing Organization: WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
Writer: Schick, Richard
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 60-52-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:27
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Chicago: “Prepare for survival; Civil defense today,” 1960-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “Prepare for survival; Civil defense today.” 1960-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Prepare for survival; Civil defense today. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from