HC Deb 28 April 1971 vol 816 cc412-3
22. Mr. Raphael Tuck

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek powers to make compulsory the fitting into all motor vehicles of a catalytic converter or other pollution control apparatus for cleaning exhaust fumes and the use therewith of lead-free petrol.

Mr. Peter Walker

I have already made regulations to control pollution from the engine crankcase. I am considering whether further regulations are necessary. I am also asking for up-to-date figures as far as bad pollution is concerned and will give these full consideration when they are available.

Mr. Tuck

I am grateful for that reply. Will the Secretary of State take into account the success which the system has had in the United States and get down to preventing this kind of pollution with all possible speed?

Mr. Walker

There has not yet been success in the United States. The Americans are talking of action in the future. What I have done is to contact the United States and various European countries to exchange medical information on this topic, and also to try to see how quickly we can improve the whole position.

Mr. Maddan

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that it is an established fact that fumes from exhausts are a contributory cause of cancer, and will he treat the matter as urgent?

Mr. Walker

There is controversy in the medical world about the effect of fumes and pollution. One thing of which I am certain is that none of them does anybody any good.