HC Deb 13 July 1971 vol 821 cc199-200
16. Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress he has made in his production of advice to pathologists concerning their procedure when undertaking postmortems where lung disease is suspected.

Mr. Dean

My right hon. Friend has no direct responsibility for advising pathologists on the conduct of postmortem examinations. As regards the industrial lung disease pneumoconiosis, I understand that the Association of Clinical Pathologists has advised its members of the advantages of perfusing lungs in which the presence of this disease is suspected.

Mr. Eadie

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his reply, but he gave a specific undertaking during the Committee stage of a Private Member's Bill, and I hope he is not going back on it. Is he aware that we are rather concerned, particularly in the mining industry, that far too much illness is being caused by chest diseases, some of them diagnosed and some not? Is it not a rather sad comment that some of the people who are suffering from diseases not diagnosed are wondering whether, if they die, there will be proper pathological investigation to determine precisely the nature of their disease and whether it would make their cases eligible for industrial injury benefit?

Mr. Dean

I am glad that the hon. Gentleman has asked this Question because it may help to give publicity to the answer which I have been able to give. I assure the hon. Gentleman and the House that there is no question of the Government going back on what I said in Committee. The Advisory Council is considering this whole matter at present, but it is a complicated subject and it will inevitably take time.