HC Deb 15 December 1953 vol 522 c203
60. Mr. Dodds

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what progress has been made in the experiments to combat the common cold.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works (Mr. J. R. Bevins)

The most important recent development in research on the common cold has been the discovery, by Medical Research Council workers at the Harvard Hospital, Salisbury, of a means of cultivating the virus in tissue cultures of human embryonic lung. So for the first time there are prospects of being able to study the nature and characteristics of the infecting organism in detail in the laboratory.

Mr. Dodds

Will the hon. Gentleman explain why for years the Ministry of Health has been answering this type of Question and now it has been transferred to the Ministry of Works? Would he say that there has been a great disappointment in the experiments? Would he confirm or deny that the chief lesson learned is that if one does nothing with a cold it will last about a week but if one tries every known treatment it will probably take seven days?

Mr. Bevins

I am not qualified to answer the latter part of the Question. In reply to the first part, this research has been carried out under the direction of the Medical Research Council and we have had the co-operation of the Ministry of Health.

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