22. Mrs. Butler
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what has been his reply to local authorities which have asked him to authorise county councils to undertake their own monitoring of food, air, and water for radioactive contamination, and to notify medical officers of health as to all establishments in their areas using radioactive materials or presenting possible radiation hazards.
§ Sir K. Joseph
My right hon. Friend's advice has been that such monitoring is unnecessary as it would duplicate the Government's comprehensive monitoring arrangements. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Lady to the Answer to her Question on 2nd February.
Has the Minister considered the representations from a growing number of local authorities and 216 medical officers that they cannot fulfil their public health responsibilities without these facilities? Is it not in the public interest that medical officers should be able to anticipate possible radiation hazards just as they do other potential dangers?
§ Sir K. Joseph
At the moment, my right hon. Friend tells medical officers when there is any possibility of special action being required by them. If they want more knowledge, they are free to ask for it from my right hon. Friend. As the House knows, there is a Bill at present in another place which will, if it goes through, require my right hon. Friend's Department to disclose all such knowledge generally in future, subject to security.