HC Deb 22 June 1964 vol 697 cc29-30
33. Mr. Prentice

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what progress is being made with the inquiry into occupational deafness; and when this is likely to be completed.

Mr. Wood

I understand that this inquiry is making satisfactory progress, but I am unable to say when it is likely to be completed.

Mr. Prentice

The inquiry began in January, 1962. Is it not taking rather a long time? Is there any prospect of an interim report as a result of these inquiries which could be referred to the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council so that it could consider the possibility of prescribing occupational deafness as an industrial disease, as is done already in many other countries?

Mr. Wood

The inquiry is taking a long time, and inquiries of this kind are bound to do so. As the hon. Gentleman knows, it is prospective research, measuring the deterioration, if any, in people with unaffected hearing at intervals of about nine months. If these prospective investigations are to teach us anything, the inquiry must take some time. The question of an interim report is for the scientists carrying out the research. The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council is in touch with progress and it is, naturally, keenly waiting the outcome, as the hon. Gentleman is.

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