HL Deb 26 June 1957 vol 204 cc361-2

2.37 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, what is the latest position with regard to research into the question of drink in relation to road accidents, especially regarding blood or other tests, and what action, if any, is contemplated by Her Majesty's Government thereanent.]


My Lords, part of the experimental work on the effect of small doses of alcohol on the performance of drivers of motor vehicles, which is being carried out under the aegis of a committee appointed jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Road Research Board, has now been completed and a report is being prepared for publication.


My Lords, while thanking the Minister for his reply, may I ask him whether that report will be published? Is this merely to be looked upon as an interim statement? I hope that conclusions will be reached on this matter as soon as possible, because it really is, as I think the noble Lord will agree, a vital one.


My Lords, I agree that the matter is indeed an important one. The report will be published.


May I ask the noble Lord, Lord Mancroft, why there is particular emphasis in his reply on drivers of motor vehicles? The Question, as drafted, does not refer to drivers of motor vehicles, and they are not the only people to be found under the influence of drink on the highway at times.


I fully appreciate the noble Earl's point, and I admire the tenacity with which he supports his argument. Of course, he is perfectly right—others who use the highway in this condition are concerned as well as drivers of motor vehicles.