HC Deb 25 November 1959 vol 614 cc341-2
7. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Minister of Labour if he will include a medical or health expert in future lists of advisers in United Kingdom delegations to International Labour Conferences.

Mr. Heath

The composition of the Government delegation to International Labour Conferences and the inclusion, where appropriate, of a medical or health expert must always be a matter for decision on each occasion in the light of the particular circumstances.

Mr. Pavitt

Is the Minister aware of the attention which the International Labour Organisation has been giving to occupational health services in the last few years? Is the right hon. Gentleman also aware that in this country there is specialised knowledge in the health field which would be useful at these conferences and that doctors in this country are becoming very resentful about being sidetracked on this issue in the past few months?

Mr. Heath

Representations have been received on this matter. They have in no way been sidetracked, because we have undertaken to give consideration to the suggestion, but there is a limit to the size of the delegations and to the number of advisers who can be taken with them.

Mr. Prentice

Will the Minister bear in mind that, as well as passing a recommendation this year on occupational health services, the International Labour Conference asked its governing body to put the matter back on the agenda as early as possible with a view to a convention on this subject? Will he consider appointing a medical adviser on that occasion, because this is something which may affect legislation in this country?

Mr. Heath

Yes. We have undertaken to consider that point. We also have the advantage of our own medical advisers in the Department on these occasions.