HC Deb 16 May 1961 vol 640 cc1100-1
36. Mr. Matthews

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what progress is being made towards obtaining figures to show the degree of air pollution in various parts of the country and as a national average.

Mr. Denzil Freeth

The Warren Spring Laboratory of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research is organising a national survey in collaboration with local authorities. By October this year, measurements should begin to become available which will eventually enable reliable national averages to be calculated for various types of locality and will thus provide a yardstick for assessment of local measurements.

Mr. Matthews

Can the Parliamentary Secretary say whether the inquiries being made by local authorities will include local circumstances and will take into account the possibility of fumes being directed by the prevailing winds into concentrated areas, such as my own constituency, in the district of Wilmington, in which one factory is concentrating all its fumes into one confined area, to the annoyance of the local inhabitants?

Mr. Freeth

The siting of the apparatus, and the apparatus itself, is under the direction of the Warren Spring Laboratory, and I can assure the hon. Member, from my visit there on Friday that they are actively concerned about the difficult problem of the acute concentration of air pollution in one small area of a community.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

Is the Parliamentary Secretary taking steps to help local authorities to get the pollution officers they need?

Mr. Freeth

That is a question for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government.