HC Deb 05 July 1972 vol 840 cc523-4
5. Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress was made at Stockholm towards a global agreement on ocean dumping.

Mr. Peter Walker

The conference recommended that Her Majesty's Government, in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, should convene a conference before November, 1972, for the purpose of agreeing a global convention on ocean dumping on the basis of draft articles which were agreed at previous meetings in London and Iceland. I am pleased to say that the conference is to take place in London. It is the intention that the convention should be open for signature by the end of the year. The Government are happy to accept this recommendation.

Mr. Skeet

Following from the Stockholm conference, is my right hon. Friend prepared to adopt the European approach to the Commission so as to get the association of the Ten countries plus also the littoral States? Will he also bear in mind that a system of priorities would be useful when considering chlorinated hydrocarbons, pesticides and such things?

Mr. Walker

The North Sea countries have already agreed to a convention, and I can assure my hon. Friend that there will be close collaboration with our friends in Europe.

Mr. Wingfield Digby

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the dumping of solid atomic waste should be included, as it is estimated that the containers in which it is dumped last only for a period of 15 years?

Mr. Walker

I envisage that the convention will cover that aspect.