§ 45. Mr. Frank Allaun
asked the Prime Minister if he is aware that the Harwell report showing that strontium 90 in the 190 bones of Welsh sheep had increased in one locality from 18 to 170 units between 1954 and 1956 is now two years out of date; and if he will state the further increase revealed there by later examinations as promised on 4th February, 1958.
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)
A further report will be published shortly by the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, giving the 1957 figures for radiostrontium in soil, herbage, animal bone and milk samples from the United Kingdom. I understand that this will show that the increase of strontium 90 in the bones of Welsh sheep during 1957 was much less than the increase recorded between 1955 and 1956. The maximum levels are considerably below the minimum which would justify any concern from the point of view of human or animal health.
§ Mr. Allaun
While this means that the rate of progress has not been maintained, can the Prime Minister, without going into details, tell the House whether there has been any further increase since the startling growth two years ago? Is not that highly probable, because test explosions have become far more frequent and because dust from previous explosions is still being deposited on the earth?
§ The Prime Minister
I said that the rate of progress is less and that the figure is far below the maximum permissible level—a very great deal below.