§ 45 and 46. Mr. Moss
asked the Prime Minister (1) whether, in view of the acceptance by the Medical Research Council that the genetically significant dose from medical diagnostic radiology may be as much as 100 per cent. of natural background radiation, he will take steps to minimise all sources of manmade radiation in this country;
(2) whether his attention has been called to paragraph 44 of Command Paper No. 508 and paragraph 55 (a) of Chapter 7 of the Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, where it is stated that the genetic effects of radiation are proportional and the somatic effect may or may not be proportional; and what steps he will take to minimise the incidence of radiation upon the population of the United Kingdom.
§ The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)
Yes, Sir. I have seen the paragraphs mentioned by the hon. Member. I would refer him to my Answer on 7th May to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Poole (Captain Pilkington) and my replies to the supplementary questions which followed. It is not possible to reduce natural radiation, but a number of steps can be and are being taken to minimise the amounts of radiation received from man-made sources.
§ Mr. Moss
Is the Prime Minister aware that the difficulty here is that paragraph 25 of Cmnd. Paper 508 modifies the original opinion of the Medical Research Council that the genetically significant dose was one of 22 to 100, and that the Medical Research Council has now accepted the view that in countries with developed medical services the genetically significant dose from medical diagnostic radiology may be as high as 100 per cent. of the natural background?
§ The Prime Minister
Yes, Sir. The hon. Gentleman has quoted correctly from this Paper, which stated that in this country we estimated it to be 22. That is the figure I have always given, based upon this Paper, but the Council now accepts that the genetically significant dose from radiation from medical sources might rise as high as 100 in countries which make extensive use of these methods for medical and other purposes.