HC Deb 12 December 1961 vol 651 cc196-7
22. Mr. P. Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what was the estimated cost to the nation of air pollution for 1959 and 1960.

Mr. Rippon

It is not possible to make any reliable estimate but the cost was certainly considerable.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Does the hon. Gentleman recall that a few years ago the Beaver Committee estimated the loss to the nation at £300 million a year and that there is no reason to think that that vast sum has been reduced? Will he now do something to improve our services against air pollution and in particular the Alkali Inspectorate?

Mr. Rippon

I am, of course, aware of the estimate made in 1954. It should be borne in mind that 1 million premises will be covered by smoke abatement orders by the end of the year.

Mr. Snow

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is some reason to think that the Alkali Inspectorate is far too restricted in its attitude and that units like Battersea Power Station, for example, appear to be creating increased pollution of the air to the detriment of the interests of local inhabitants?

Mr. Rippon

That is an entirely different question.