HC Deb 06 November 1961 vol 648 cc599-600
16. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, what investigation he has carried out into the possibilities of radioactive fall-out affecting fish.

Mr. Soames

My Department has for some years investigated the effect of radioactivity on fish and the results show that there is no possibility of fish being affected by present levels of radioactive fall-out.

Mr. Hughes

Has the Minister studied the effect of the tests in the Pacific, after which the Japanese Government were compelled to destroy many thousands of tons of fish? Does he not think there is a possibility of risk occurring if there is an increase in fall-out?

Mr. Soames

All I can say is that the scientific advice given to us at present is that with the present and foreseen levels of fall-out, there is no possibility —I put it as high as that—of fish being affected by it in waters in which our boats fish.

Mr. Manuel

Could the Minister give the House any information as to what level of fall-out would contaminate fish in the affected areas, with particular reference to those fish which travel to our inland and coastal waters, such as salmon and sea trout? Many thousands of these fish are caught annually in this country and we would need to be certain that they are not affected. What level of fall-out would affect them?

Mr Soames

This is a serious question. I would be grateful if a Question were put down, when I would certainly give an answer to it.