HC Deb 05 July 1972 vol 840 cc521-2
1. Mr. Pardoe

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the consultations on proposals to control the emissions from petrol-engined vehicles with interested organisations have been completed; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister for Transport Industries (Mr. John Peyton)

Not yet. Interested organisations were asked to comment by 14th July.

Mr. Pardoe

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his recent statements in reply to Questions on this matter have been scandalously complacent? Is it not a fact that his proposals for British cars in April, 1973, and beyond are worse than those for America in 1970? Is it not a fact that American cars will be virtually pollution-free by 1975? Why should British cars exported to America not be allowed to poison Americans but when sold here be allowed to poison Britons?

Mr. Peyton

I do not doubt that the hon. Gentleman has his own standards of complacency, and he is welcome to them. On the matter of substance which he raises, I am concerned with pollution here, not in America. We are endeavouring, on a European basis, to get a sensible, orderly system of rules applicable in Europe. The Americans have special problems which they must look after in their own ways and I must leave them to it. I should not dream of interfering.

Mr. Gorst

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that when the report is available the residents in Hendon, where the M1 starts and whose flats are a few feet away from it, can look for some rectification of the desperate pollution and noise from which they are suffering?

Mr. Peyton

I realise that there are instances such as the one described by my hon. Friend where pollution is bad and oppressive. We are attempting to deal with the problem, but it is important that these things should be dealt with in a sensible, long-term way so that the remedy is effective.