§ 7. Dr. Winstanley
asked the Minister of Social Security if she will add industrial deafness to the list of conditions qualifying for benefit under the Industrial Injuries Scheme.
§ Mr. Loughlin
Before industrial deafness can be prescribed for industrial injuries benefit purposes the requirements of Section 56(2) of the National Insurance (Industrial Injuries) Act, 1965, have to be satisfied. The large-scale Government research project into the effects of industrial noise, which is aimed at resolving the issues involved, should be completed in July, 1968. Until its 925 results become available my right hon. Friend cannot come to any conclusions on the question of prescription.
§ Dr. Winstanley
Is the hon. Member aware that it is now 150 years since deafness was professionally recognised as a hazard of blacksmiths, nearly 100 years since it was recognised in the case of weaving, and that we have had many additions to the list since then? Is it not time we caught up with other countries which now lead us in this statutory recognition of a disability like this?
§ Mr. Loughlin
I should not like the House to be confused by what is done in other countries, because most of them have a different basis of compensation for industrial injuries and industrial diseases. There has been a very intensive research project into this matter. It was originally intended that it should be completed in 1968. It would be a little premature to start making statements at this stage, before we receive the review.