HC Deb 17 March 1958 vol 584 cc921-2
45. Mr. Lipton

asked the Prime Minister to what extent the unusually large amount of fission products in the air over London on the 11th and 12th October last was attributable to the accident at Windscale on 10th October.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Lord Privy Seal (Mr. R. A. Butler)

I have been asked to reply.

Following the Windscale accident, an increase in the level of radioactivity was detected in the area over London on 11th, 12th and 13th of October. This was well below anything that could be considered harmful. By 14th of October only the normal background radiation remained.

Mr. Lipton

Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why this unpleasant fact was omitted from the Prime Minister's statement to the House on 8th November and also from the more detailed White Paper which he issued on that day? Why do we have to wait until there is a conference of the Royal Society of Health for this information to be disclosed to the public for the first time by the scientific officer of the London County Council?

Mr. Butler

In fact, I answered a Question on this subject on 10th February to the hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) in which I gave exactly similar information as that given to the hon. Member today. I have read the accounts of the meeting of the Royal Society of Health and of the scientists employed by the London County Council, and I have nothing to add to the information I gave either on 10th February or now.