HC Deb 18 May 1943 vol 389 cc915-6
10. Mr. Leach

asked the Secretary of State for War whether the recent experiments in inoculating Service men and women with the object of producing the disease known as impetigo contagiosa were performed with his knowledge and consent; and whether the consent of the subjects was obtained in every case?

Sir J. Grigg

I assume my hon. Friend is referring to some investigations reported in "The Lancet" of 1st May. The regulations do not require an officer to obtain authority to carry out research work of this kind unless it is likely to interfere with his specific military duties. I understand that all the experiments were carried out on volunteers.

Mr. Leach

Will the War Office make itself responsible if any harm is caused to these people as a result of the experiments?

Sir J. Grigg

I would like notice of that. As I said just now, I hesitate to answer questions about legal liability without careful consideration.