HC Deb 07 May 1970 vol 801 cc567-8
30. Mrs. Joyce Butler

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals the Medical Research Council has for increasing the range of epidemiological studies relating to cancer by research departments under its auspices.

Mr. Fowler

The Medical Research Council already attaches great importance to epidemiological studies in the field of cancer; and is anxious to encourage new lines of investigation as the need and opportunity arise.

Mrs. Butler

Is not it probable that many valuable clues to the cause of cancer have been lost because there is apparently no systematic recording of environmental, industrial, dietetic and other factors involved in each cancer death? Will my hon. Friend discuss with the Medical Research Council whether more comprehensive research on these lines can be undertaken?

Mr. Fowler

The Medical Research Council is already convinced that epidemiological studies, including those on cancer, have a substantial contribution to make towards a solution of the pressing health problems of our time. It is particularly convinced of the value of these studies on cancer when undertaken on an international scale, and the Council needs no further urging from me.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Will the Under-Secretary see what he can do about the great shortage of money for cancer research by the Medical Research Council?

Mr. Fowler

I will certainly look at that.