§ 29. Mr. Mason
asked the Minister of Health in view of his Department's responsibility for the health of the people 544 of this country, what information he has received from the Minister of Science regarding the danger to health inherent in the gradual fall-out of radioactive Strontium 90 and radio iodine over this country as a result of the twenty nuclear and thermo-nuclear tests of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; and what information he has received regarding the extent to which this would be aggravated by an addition of a 50-megaton nuclear test.
§ Mr. Mason
Why wait until tomorrow? Is not the Minister himself responsible for the health of the people of these islands? Surely, he must have been the first person to have been consulted? Has he nothing to say about the plans which he has in mind for protecting the health of young children particularly, who are bound to be affected if radioactive Strontium 90 is falling in large degree? Is not the Minister consulting his right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture to see to what extent the consumption of milk and other foods which may become contaminated will be curtailed?
§ Mr. G. Brown
Referring to the Minister's last reply, may I ask him whether it is intended that the statement to be made tomorrow shall be made by a senior Minister on behalf of the whole Government? The right hon. Gentleman will be aware of a suggestion this morning that it will be made by the Parliamentary Secretary for Science. In view of the fact that it affects a number of Departments, we consider it should be made by a senior Minister of the Government. In view of the statement coming from Sweden that the 50-megaton weapon has already been let off, will he bear in mind that this is of tremendous importance now? Will he represent to the Leader of the House that we would wish the statement to be made by a senior Minister tomorrow before the House rises?
§ Mr. Brown
May I ask the Minister, since he is currently answering the Question and since the Leader of the House is not here, whether he will represent to the Leader of the House, which I think is the proper form in which to put it, our desire that the statement to be made tomorrow should be made by a senior Minister?