HC Deb 14 May 1957 vol 570 cc216-7
48. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Prime Minister whether he will suggest to the Soviet Government that a meeting of British and Soviet scientists and other experts should take place to see if agreed conclusions can be reached as to the hazards involved by polluting the atmosphere with strontium 90 as a result of atom and hydrogen bomb tests.

The Prime Minister

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given on 7th May.

Mr. Fletcher

Would not the Prime Minister agree, particularly in view of the complaints that have been received from China about the effect in China of the outfall of strontium from the Soviet tests, that it would be better to ascertain the views of Russian scientists on this matter, and compare those with the views of British scientists?

The Prime Minister

I think that we are right to rely on the information given to us by the Medical Research Council. I want to make it clear that, although the Report was some time ago, this is a permanent work. There is a Standing Committee of the Research Council; it has its own research units, and it is a continuing progress of research.

Mr. Gaitskell

The Prime Minister will be aware that not long ago the Lord Privy Seal replied that he would consider the suggestion which I made that a further report should be invited from the Medical Research Council. Can the Prime Minister say whether that is being done?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, but there are various methods— whether there should be a full report of the whole Council or whether we should publish some of the research papers that it makes from time to time. I want to emphasise that this is not like calling in a body and dismissing it. Through all its various branches this research goes on continuously.