HC Deb 14 March 1972 vol 833 c270
2. Mr. Fowler

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much money was devoted by his Department to treatment and research into the problems of alcoholism in the years 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971; and if he will make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Social Services (Mr. Michael Alison)

The cost of treating alcoholism cannot be separately identified. My Department has specifically financed research on alcoholism only since 1970; about £10,000 was spent in that year and about £18,000 in 1971. This excludes some research undertaken with funds which my Department provides for use at the discretion of local hospital research committees.

Mr. Fowler

I congratulate my hon. Friend on the increase in the amount of resources devoted to research. Would he not agree that the problems of alcoholism raise a very serious social problem on lines very similar to the much more publicised problem of drugs? Therefore, would he not also agree that it is very important that we should progressively devote more of our resources to research in this area?

Mr. Alison

I accept what my hon. Friend says. He will also be encouraged to know that my right hon. Friend has decided to apply an extra £2 million to this sector in the four years starting 1971–72.