Committee on Civil Organization in Time of War

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Committee on Civil Organization in Time of War

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The AC/23 chronological series contains the records of the Committee on Civil Organization in Time of War (hereinafter referred to as AC/23). In a memorandum dated 6 June 1952 (see C-M(52)27), the Secretary General invited the Council to make plans for the organization of the civil population and for countering a possible Soviet "fifth column" in the NATO countries in the event of war. Consequently, on 11 June 1952, the Council decided to set up a Working Group on Civil Organization in Time of War (see C-R(52)8). It was renamed the Committee on Civil Organization in Time of War after November 1952 (see AC/23-D/17). AC/23 was created to consider and report to the Council on the aspects of civil organization of North Atlantic Treaty countries in time of war that should be studied and how the studies should best be carried out. AC/23 was made up of a representative nominated by each Member state and a chairman (Sir Hoyer Millar) nominated by the Secretary General (see AC/23-N/1). The chairman of the two AC/23 sub-committees, the representative of the Standing Group Liaison Office in London and then in Paris, and a SHAPE representative also attended the meetings. The Secretary General, in a letter dated 30 July 1952, invited each of the Member States to provide information about the measures they had already taken in this area (see C-M(52)101). In the light of the replies, AC/23 chose to address matters of civil defence and refugees separately (see AC/23-R/3). On 29 November 1952, two sub-committees were created for that purpose and answerable to it: the Civil Defence Committee (AC/23(CD)) and the Committee on Refugees and Evacuees (see AC/23-D/25). AC/23 held its last meeting on 2 December 1954 (see AC/23-/13). On 9 November 1955, the Council approved the creation of the Senior Civil Emergency Planning Committee (AC/98 or CEPC) and decided to dissolve the Committee on Civil Organization in Time of War (see C-M(55)100 and C-R(55)50). This was to avoid duplication of effort on coordination, which would henceforth be handled by AC/98. The acronym AC/23 was taken over in April 1956 by the Civil Protection Committee (formerly AC/23(CD)).


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