HC Deb 22 March 1955 vol 538 cc1873-4
46. Mr. Mason

asked the Prime Minister if he will produce a White Paper, similar to the United States Atomic Energy Commission's report, outlining our findings from fission and thermonuclear tests that have taken place under water, on land, and in the air.

47. Mr. A. Henderson

asked the Prime Minister whether he will publish a White Paper containing all available scientific information on the effects of nuclear tests and explosions on human health and human welfare.

The Prime Minister

By a curious coincidence, we are to have a debate on this very subject immediately after Questions, and it would only be respectful to the House to see what happens then before taking decisions about publishing White Papers.

Mr. Mason

Is the Prime Minister not aware that he really is displaying a most complacent and apathetic attitude to this very serious matter? Is he not further aware that the publication of the report of the United States Atomic Energy Commission has caused great concern among the people of this nation in view of the knowledge of the radioactivity released into the atmosphere in its various and almost unlimited forms? Further, is he not aware that, in view of the Parliamentary time taken in discussing this matter, both in Questions and debate, this document is most urgently required, and will he not reconsider the matter?

The Prime Minister

I hope the hon. Member will not have endangered his chances of being called in the ensuing debate.

Mr. Henderson

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that what some of us are seeking are not merely statements from Ministers in the course of a debate but a factual report from British scientists, which we have not yet had? Does the right hon. Gentleman's answer mean that we shall have these reports in the course of this debate?

The Prime Minister

I really must not anticipate a matter which lies so entirely in the discretion of the House and is also governed by the arrangements made for the conduct of the debate.