HC Deb 12 July 1965 vol 716 c26
32. Mr. Buchan

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council has concluded its consideration of whether there exists among flax and hemp workers a respiratory condition analogous to byssinosis which should be prescribed for the purposes of benefit under the Industrial Injuries Act; and if she will make a statement.

Miss Herbison

Yes, Sir. I have recently received the report of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council on this question and shall be laying it before the House as soon as it can be printed. I should like to thank the Council for the comprehensive and valuable study which it has made. The report does not suggest any change in respect of hemp workers, but recommends that the terms in which byssinosis is now prescribed for workers in the cotton industry should be extended to cover the analogous processes in the flax-spinning industry. I have decided to accept this recommendation, and regulations to give effect to it will be made as soon as possible.

Mr. Buchan

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the great satisfaction that that Answer will give to those of us who have been concerned with this problem for some time, and, above all, the many thou-stands of workers in this industry, a large number of whom have suffered in the past from this disease in Lancashire and elsewhere?

Miss Herbison

I am sure that the workers in my hon. Friend's constituency and others engaged in such work will be very happy that this decision has been made.