HC Deb 20 May 1965 vol 712 cc1656-7
19. Mr. Gregory

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has received the report and recommendations of the working parties on the carriage by road of highly inflammable, explosive, toxic and corrosive substances; when he will introduce legislation for the clear marking of tankers and vehicles as to the nature of the load; if he will advise fire services of the correct action in the event of accident or spillage; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. George Thomas

I am sorry that this Answer is a little long. I will read it quickly.

A working party on the marking of road tank vehicles drafted a voluntary scheme of marking, but the introduction of such a scheme was deferred pending the outcome of international negotiations on this and related matters. Certain other committees, including the Working Party on Inflammable Substances, have also from time to time considered problems concerned with dangerous substances. There is no prospect of international agreement on the carriage by road of dangerous substances before next year and in order to avoid further delay, as well as to co-ordinate the various activities to which I have just referred, my right hon. and learned Friend has suggested to the local authority associations and other interested bodies that the Working Party on Inflammable Substances should be reconstituted as the Standing Advisory Committee on Dangerous Substances. The new Committee would advise my right hon. and learned Friend on all questions, falling within his sphere of responsibility, which relate to the control of dangerous substances in the interests of the safety of the public, and he will ask it to examine urgently how best to extend the scope of existing regulations on the carriage of dangerous substances by road.