HC Deb 08 November 1962 vol 666 cc1129-30
7 and 8. Mr. Farr

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether the report of the manufacturers on the three substances involved in the West Bromwich explosion on the 6th February, 1962, has been received by his Department; and if he will make this available to hon. Members;

(2) what results the Home Office scientists in the Explosives Branch have ascertained in respect of their researches into hydrogen peroxide, methyl-ethyl-ketone peroxide and sodium metasilicate.

Mr. Woodhouse

I understand that the report made by the manufacturers on the investigations which they have carried out is not quite complete. It will be the property of the manufacturers and my right hon. Friend would have no authority to publish it. Some supplementary tests on hydrogen peroxide and methyl-ethyl-ketone peroxide involving the employment of special techniques have been conducted by the Home Office, and the results, which are highly technical, have been communicated to the manufacturers.

Mr. Farr

While thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I remind him that a previous Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department indicated that when these inquiries were completed regulations would be framed with a view to preventing repetitions of the type of disaster that we had at West Bromwich earlier in the year? Has he these sort of regulations in mind now?

Mr. Woodhouse

My right hon. Friend will, of course, give consideration to this question when he has received the Report, but he cannot do so until he knows what the Report will contain.