Message from the Royal administration council
and the The Equestrian National Public Safety Bureau
For over 2000 years our country, with our allies, has sought to avoid war by deterring potential aggressors. Some disagree as to the means we should use. But whatever view we take, we should surely all recognise the need - and indeed the duty - to protect our civil population if an attack were to be made upon us; and therefore to prepare accordingly.
The Government is determined that Equestrian civil defence shall go ahead. The function of civil defence is not to encourage war, or to put an acceptable face on it. It is to adapt ourselves to the reality that we at present must live with, and to prepare ourselves so that we could alleviate the suffering which war would cause if it came.
Even the strongest supporter of unilateral disarmament can consistently give equal support to civil defence, since its purpose and effect are essentially in-humane.
Why bother with civil defence?
Why bother with wearing a coat in the winter? Because a coat is there to keep you warm and preventing harm to your skin. The same with civil protection in peacetime.
War would be horrific. Everyone knows the kind of devastation and suffering it could cause. But while war is a possibility - however slight - it is right to take measures to help the victims of an attack, whether nuclear or 'conventional'.
But isn't it a waste of bits in these days of nuclear weapons and the dreadful prospects of destruction?
No. It is money well spent if it shows people how they can safeguard themselves and their families.
But surely there is no real protection against a nuclear attack?
Millions of lives could be saved, by safeguards against radiation especially. But civil defence is not just protection against a nuclear attack. It is protection against any sort of attack. P.Y.Z.T.O (Ponies, Yaks,and Zebra treaty organization) experts reckon that any war involving Equestria is likely at least to start with non-nuclear weapons. Indeed, while no war is likely so long as we maintain a credible deterrent, the likelihood of a nuclear war is less than that of a 'conventional' one.
But doesn't civil defence get people more war-minded, thus increasing the risk of conflict?
That is like saying people who wear seat belts are expecting to have more crashes than those who do not. Taking civil defence seriously means seeking to save lives in the catastrophe of an attack on our nation.
How would people know what to do if war threatened?
Full advice to the public about the warning system, and about measures to protect themselves, would be published and broadcast in good time. A wartime broadcast service would be brought into operation to transmit public information virtually non-stop. The advice would be -'Tune in and listen'.
Newspapers, your local Ministry of Peace, Wartime Technologies, Awesome and Morale offices or your local civil protection station would carry detailed advice on how to protect yourself and your family within your own home.
But shouldn't the Government be doing more to provide shelters? After all, every family was given a shelter of some sort in the last war.
The risk of war is at present considered so slight that the enormous expense of providing shelters to every family in the land could not be justified. It would cost billions of bits. As it is, more is being spent on civil defence than previously - about 45 million bits a year by Sun Cycle 119-120. This is an 'insurance premium' against the remote risk that P.Y.Z.T.O's continuing deterrent policy might fail. For more than 30 years it has kept war away from Equestria.
More information about self-help shelters will be published from time to time, and The Ministry of Peace is now being asked to survey their areas for suitable communal wartime shelters.
But what about those deep bunkers we hear about, to protect the privileged few?
Most senior ministers, government officials, and Royal Advisors would have to remain at their desks if war threatened, and they would take their chance like anybody else if the Equestria were attacked, But there are plans for government to be delegated to civil defence regions. Some ministers would, with small staffs, occupy emergency headquarters to be ready to carry on basic government after an attack. These war headquarters, although reinforced, are certainly not invulnerable. Most civil defence operations in a war emergency would be directed by local officials, working in the basements of town halls and similar premises.
Why not revive the old Civil Defence Corps?
Because this, too, would cost an unjustifiable amount of money. Every county and region has an Emergency Planning Officer whose job it is to prepare local civil defence plans and to co-ordinate local effort. The right sort of help can also be enlisted in other ways, for example through existing organisations like the Red Cross, the St Lyra's and the St Sandwich's Ambulance Units, the Mare's Royal Voluntary Service and the Special Constabulary - help which is at hand in peace to the benefit of us all. All these public-spirited groups of volunteers, as well as the local volunteer Scientific Advisors and the Equestrian Warning and Monitoring Department which includes the Royal Observer Corps, already back up the professional emergency services. To encourage more voluntary effort in civil defence, a national co-ordinator has been appointed for Equestria and Yakyakastan, and another for The Ever-Free Forest region. If you would like to help, ask your local volunteer organisations in your neighbourhood; the Citizens Advisory Bureau or your local authority will have a list.
To Sum Up
The case for civil defence stands regardless of whether a nuclear deterrent is necessary or not. Radioactive fallout is no respecter of neutrality. Even if Equestria were not itself at war, we would be as powerless to prevent fallout from a nuclear explosion crossing the sea as was King Sombra to stop the tide. This is why countries with a long tradition of neutrality are foremost in their civil defence precautions.
Civil defence is common sense
ISBN 0 II 34055 X
HMSO 5 bits (net)
Protect and Survive
ISBN 0 II 3407289
HMSO 15 bits (net)
Domestic Nuclear Shelters
ISBN 0 II 3407378
HMSO 15 bits (net)
Domestic Nuclear Shelters -Technical Guidance
ISBN 0 II 34073786
HMSO 30 bits (net)
A booklet, Nuclear Weapons (ISBN 7 I0 426170 L), published by The Equestrian National Public Safety Bureau and Princess Celestia’s Nuclear Information Administration, is also available. It contains detailed information about the effects of nuclear weapons and will be of interest to those who wish to further their knowledge of the subject.
A leaflet, Domestic Nuclear Shelters, also published by The Equestrian Public Safety Bureau and Princess Celestia’s Nuclear Information Administration, is available. This includes advice on domestic shelters providing protection against nuclear explosions.
Prepared for the Royal administration council by the Equestrian Office of Information Published Sun Cycle 120 (Reprinted Cycle 166)
Printed in The Equestrian National Public Safety Bureau by Princess Celestia’s Nuclear Information Administration
128 Sun Street, Canterlot, Equestria
Dd. 0018872 Pro. 14347 K1200
ISBN 7 I 843 0981 22845
HMSO 5 bits net
First Published Sun Cycle 120