HC Deb 22 July 1930 vol 241 cc1921-2

asked the Secretary of State for War what evidence he has, and how it was obtained, that the experiments conducted at Porton of poison gases on animals show that these gases have the same effects on human beings?


A comparison of the gross and microscopic appearance of the lungs of men killed by irritant gases in France with those of animals exposed to the same substances showed that the injuries were of similar nature and character, and further study of such animals gave evidence of the mode of action of the poisons and their effects on vital organs. It was thus possible, by correlating these experiments with clinical observations on gas patients, to formulate curative treatments. Descriptions and results of this research were published in the medical Press shortly after the War.


Has the right hon. Gentleman any evidence of this since the War, and, if not, how is it possible to find out that the effects on animals are the same as on human beings?


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider testing the efficacy of these gases by experimenting on the hon. Member?


The evidence I have has already been given. Experiments are not continued for the sole purpose of getting to know whether I can justify statements that are made. The evidence given to me is that these experiments on animals led to the alleviation of an enormous amount of suffering during the War.