HC Deb 21 February 1972 vol 831 c889
26. Mr. Gower

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many and what proportion of local authorities in Wales now add fluoride to public water supplies; and what advice he is giving to local authorities on this subject.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Of the 17 local health authorities in Wales, only Anglesey County Council provides fluoridated water. Some parts of Radnorshire and Breconshire receive fluoridated water from the Birmingham Aqueduct. Four other authorities are planning to fluoridate water in further areas. This subject was brought to the attention of local health authorities in 1969.

Mr. Gower

As successive Governments, Labour and Conservative, and successive Secretaries of State responsible for Health and Social Security have strongly supported the idea of adding fluoride, may I ask my hon. Friend to explain why there has been such a poor response from Welsh local authorities?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

As my hon. Friend will be aware, the Government have no intention of introducing legislation on this issue. This must be a matter for local health authorities to decide. I would add only that the total number of people affected by authorities which will fluoridate their water will greatly increase under present plans.

Sir Elwyn Jones

Would the hon. Gentleman mind translating the word "fluoridate", which he has sought to pronounce, into English for the benefit of those who do not follow the Welsh language?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Speaking as one Welshman to another, I suggest that that is a legal matter.