HC Deb 21 July 1953 vol 518 cc201-3
41. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what progress has been made in setting up the committee to inquire into the problem of air pollution.

50. Brigadier Medlicott

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government how soon he anticipates being able to announce the composition and terms of reference of the committee proposed to be set up to examine the problem of air pollution.

67. Mr. Hastings

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government the terms of reference of the committee that he has appointed to inquire into the causation and prevention of fogs; who are the members of this committee; and when it is anticipated that it will report.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Ernest Marples)

The terms of reference of the Committee, which is being appointed jointly by my right hon. Friend, by the Secretary of State for Scotland and by the Minister of Fuel and Power are: To examine the nature, causes and effects of air pollution, and the efficacy of present preventive measures; to consider what further preventive measures are practicable; and to make recommendations. We have been fortunate in securing the services of Sir Hugh Beaver, M.Inst.C.E., M.I.Chem.E., as Chairman. The members are listed in the statement I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT. The committee will be assisted in its work by assessors from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Ministry of Fuel and Power, Ministry of Health, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of Health for Scotland, and Welsh Board of Health. The committee will begin work forthwith, but I cannot predict when it will report.

Mr. Dodds

Whilst thanking the hon. Gentleman for that information, may I ask if he is aware that there is a good deal of concern that it took five months following the December massacre to decide to set up the committee at all? Will he press ahead with this in view of the fact that there might be a worse case in the months ahead because winter is just round the corner?

Mr. Marples

The speed of the report depends on the committee, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that its terms of reference cover a wide range of interests, particularly the scientific aspect which has not been neglected.

Mr. Hastings

Will the hon. Gentleman make sure that the terms of reference include air pollution from the burning of smokeless fuels and oil, which contain just as much, or more, sulphur oxide, which is the real source of danger in fogs and similar conditions?

Mr. Marples

That is included in the terms of reference.

Mr. Blenkinsop

Will the Minister also take account of the urgent need to encourage local authorities to develop smokeless zones as one way of tackling this problem?

Mr. Marples

Yes, Sir, and I think there is another Question on the Order Paper later on this subject.

Following are the Members:


Sir Hugh Beaver, M.Inst.C.E., M.I.Chem.E. (Chairman).

Miss A. D. Boyd, B.A., F.S.W.H.M., Housing Manager, Rotherham County Borough Council.

Dr. J. L. Burn, D.Hy., D.P.H., Medical Officer of Health, Salford County Borough Council.

S. R. Dennison, Esq., C.B.E., M.A., Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Sir Roger Duncalfe, Chairman, British Glues and Chemicals, Ltd.; Chairman of the Federation of British Industries Technical Legislation Committee and Vice-President of the Federation of British Industries.

Professor T. Ferguson, M.D., D.Sc., Chair of Public Health and Social Medicine, Glasgow University.

Dr. G. E. Foxwell. D.Sc., F.Inst.F., M.Inst.Gas.E., M.I.Chem.E., President, Institute of Fuel.

Dr. R. Lessing, Ph.D., F.R.I.C., F.Iast.F., M.I.Chem.E., F.Inst.Pet.

G. Nonhebel, Esq., B.Sc., F.R.I.C., F.Inst.F., Imperial Chemical Industries, Limited.

C. J. Regan, Esq., B.Sc., F.R.I.C., Chemist in Chief, London County Council.

Professor O. G. Sutton, C.B.E., D.Sc., F.R.S., Chairman, Atmospheric Pollution Research Committee.

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