HC Deb 19 May 1953 vol 515 cc1859-60
30. Mr. Dodds

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he can yet announce the names and qualifications of the appointments to the Committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the causes and effects of air pollution, as well as to consider what further preventive measures are practicable.

Mr. H. Macmillan

No, Sir; but I will do so as soon as I can.

Mr. Dodds

Will the right hon. Gentleman give some indication of how long that might be, in view of the fact that it took five months to decide to set up the Committee?

Mr. Macmillan

It takes quite a time to get the people that one needs. I have just succeeded in getting a rather similar committee formed. One needs to get a very good person as chairman and very good scientific advisers as members, and all these people are very busy and have many claims upon them. It is better to wait a little to try to get the right people.

Mr. Nabarro

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that air pollution, which has been aggravated over 50 years, is principally caused through the inefficient burning of bituminous coal? Will he, therefore, bear in mind the overwhelming importance of seeing that fuel and power interests are fully represented on this Committee?

Mr. Lewis

In view of the fact that the Minister has stated that he needs active and qualified people for this Committee, will he consider the qualifications of my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Dodds)?

Mr. Dodds

I decline.

Mr. Macmillan

I will bear that in mind.

Mr. Noel-Baker

In view of the fact that air pollution costs the country something like £50 million a year, will the Minister include in the terms of reference power for the Committee to make recommendations for expenditure for reducing this appalling cost?

Mr. Macmillan

I will consider that.