HC Deb 08 December 1971 vol 827 cc1283-4
20. Mr. Harper

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects the next progress report of the Standing Technical Committee on Synthetic Detergents to be published; and, on publication, if he will make a statement.

Mr. Graham Page

The Committee expects to present my right hon. Friend with its next progress report by the end of the year, and it will be published as soon as possible thereafter. We shall decide whether a statement is desirable when we have considered the report.

Mr. Harper

Having read the first 12 reports, I am not expecting much fresh in the 13th. Will the hon. Gentleman now get down to it and do one of two things: either introduce legislation to compel manufacturers upstream to use the softer-base detergents, thus eliminating the foam altogether; or, if that is not financially possible or economically just, channel extra resources into my constituency so that we ourselves can deal with the problem and so eliminate the foam?

Mr. Page

I appreciate the serious nature of this problem in the hon. Gentleman's constituency. Good progress is being made with an undertaking to limit the use of—if I have the right term—the non-biodegradable anionic detergents which are causing the trouble with foam on the river in the hon. Gentleman's constituency. There is an undertaking on its way, and I hope to make an announcement quite soon.

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