HC Deb 05 May 1955 vol 540 c1904
61. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Minister of Health what advice he has received from the Medical Research Council with regard to tests of Salk anti-polio vaccine intended for experimental use in this country.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I do not think I can add to the written reply I gave to the hon. Member for Newport (Mr. Peter Freeman), which appears in this morning's OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Fletcher

Will the Minister confirm that there will be no experimental tests on children in this country until a full report has been obtained from the United States? Will he see that the fullest possible information is given to the public on this subject as soon as inquiries in the United States have been completed?

Mr. Macleod

Yes, Sir. The answer is "Yes" to both parts of the question. The Medical Research Council has sent a representative by air to America to investigate the present position on the spot. His report will be with us well before the time planned for the tests. There will be no tests of any sort upon children until we are fully satisfied about these matters.

Mr. F. M. Bennett

Does the Minister recall that only a week ago he was being criticised by an hon. Member opposite for not pressing on quickly enough with these experimental tests?

Mr. Elliot

Will the Minister again make it clear that no tests will be carried out on any of the children without the full consent of both the children and the parents?

Mr. Macleod

Yes, Sir. I am very glad to make that clear again. Full consent will be obtained in all cases.