HC Deb 25 November 1959 vol 614 cc344-5
13. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Labour what steps he proposes to take to implement the recommendations of the Report of the Committee of Inquiry on Anthrax; and to what extent this will involve legislation.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Peter Thomas)

This Report, which was published on 11th November, is comprehensive and valuable and my right hon. Friend and I would like to take the opportunity of thanking the Chairman and members of the Committee of Inquiry for their work. The recommendations are now being studied. Several require changes in the law, the nature of which is indicated in the summary of recommendations at the end of the Report.

Mr. Janner

How long is it likely to be before the hon. Gentleman will have considered the Report fully? In view of the serious nature of the disease, will he ensure that legislation on the recommendations is introduced as speedily as possible?

Mr. Thomas

The Report came out only on 11th November. It contains twenty-eight recommendations and more than half of them recommend changes in the law. As the hon. Gentleman will appreciate, it is important that there should be consultation with other Government Departments and with all the outside interests concerned, but I ca n assure him that the consultations will be undertaken as speedily as possible.

Mr. Prentice

While appreciating what the hon. Gentleman has said about the complexity of the problem, may I ask whether early action can be taken on the recommendations in paragraph 242 and the following paragraphs about arrangements being made for better washing facilities on the docks and so on? That would be relatively simple. Will he see if he can take early action on those matters while the more complicated subjects are being considered?

Mr. Thomas

I will certainly look into that matter. I am sorry that I cannot give the hon. Gentleman a firm reply at the moment.