HC Deb 08 February 1962 vol 653 cc610-1
Q1. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Prime Minister if he will co-ordinate the activities of the Ministers of Health, Labour and Works with a view to establishing an occupational health service unit in the Palace of Westminster.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

Occupational health service units are normally provided in factories under the Factory Acts so that people who are subject to industrial injury or industrial disease can be treated on the spot. I do not think that any analogy between this House and a factory ought to be carried too far.

Mr. Pavitt

Is the Prime Minister aware that many hon. Members, Press men and the staff owe a debt of gratitude to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross) who acts as an unpaid general practitioner in this House? Is he further aware that although there are over 2,400 people in this establishment every day, including more than 500 people in the manual grades, we do not even employ a State registered nurse for first-aid purposes? Is he further aware that many establishments with far fewer people have a far better occupational health service than we have, and should not we set a good example to industry and commerce, especially as we suffer from the modern illnesses of nervous strain and emotional exhaustion?

The Prime Minister

I can see the force of the hon. Gentleman's argument, and if it were thought desirable I am sure that consultations could be held with the Leader of the House.

Mr. K. Lewis

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that we on this side of the House have for a long time believed that the Opposition's morale has sunk rather low, but we are rather surprised that they should now express a preference for making baskets?