HC Deb 01 February 1960 vol 616 cc610-1
14 and 15. Mr. Prentice

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1) what proposals he has for the prescription of deafness under the Industrial Injuries Act, in respect of those working under very noisy conditions; and to what extent the question has been considered recently by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council;

(2) whether he has reached a decision to prescribe bursitis of the shoulder under the Industrial Injuries Act.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I have no such proposals, Sir. These are both diseases which the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council keeps under review as part of its normal duties and arrangements have been made to keep it informed of research work having a bearing on whether these diseases should be prescribed.

Mr. Prentice

With regard to deafness, would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that his Department pays a very large number of war disablement pensions to men who have deafness caused or aggravated by service in the Royal Artillery? Is there not a very close parallel in the case of people who work in conditions of loud noise? One thinks particularly of boilermakers. Will the right hon. Gentleman give very urgent consideration to the problem?

With regard to bursitis of the shoulder, is it not nearly two years since the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council said that it ought to be considered for prescription just as bursitis of the elbow and bursitis of the knee are already prescribed? Will the right hon. Gentleman look at the matter again?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I think the hon. Gentleman somewhat overstates the reference to the disease by, not the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council but the Industrial Diseases Sub-Committee, which, as I read it, did not amount to a recommendation for prescription. With regard to noise, there are, as the hon. Member knows, very many cases of deafness, some of which are wholly non-industrial in origin. The hon. Gentleman will appreciate that my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Health has recently announced an inquiry into the general question of noise.