§ 2.35 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the report on the experimental work in connection with drink in road accidents carried out under the auspices of the Committee appointed jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Road Research Board has been published; what action is contemplated regarding it, and when will this be taken.]
§ THE MINISTER WITHOUT PORTFOLIO (LORD MANCROFT)
My Lords, the report on the experimental work in connection with drink in road accidents, carried out under the auspices of the Committee appointed by the Medical Research Council and the Road Research Board, is in course of preparation and will be published as soon as possible. Some delay has been caused because the interpretation of part of the data is proving difficult. It will describe some experimental studies of the effect of small doses of alcohol on human reactions relevant to motor driving. I cannot at present say whether it will provide a basis for administrative action, but I have no doubt that as soon as it is received it will be given careful consideration by the Ministers concerned.
§ LORD MATHERS
My Lords, while thanking the noble Lord for his Answer, which seems to take us a little further than we were on June 26 when I last raised this matter, may I ask him whether he considers his Answer indicates the importance of the subject and also whether he will bear in mind the vital necessity of getting action on this matter, 296 which should be looked upon as one of urgency?
§ LORD MANCROFT
My Lords, my Answer does indeed indicate the importance which Her Majesty's Government attach to this matter. I am sorry that there has been some delay about it, but apparently it is not possible to confine research within a rigid timetable.
§ LORD LUCAS OF CHILWORTH
My Lords, does the noble Lord appreciate the great anxiety of many people in this country who are interested in this problem? Might I ask him whether he is aware that your Lordships gave great attention to this matter in the passage of the Road Traffic Bill through this House, when the penalty for, and the whole conception of, being drunk in charge of a motor car was altered? Will the noble Lord be good enough to tell us whether he will make a special effort to see if it is possible for statistics to, be produced from the Home Office, even though this Act has been in operation for only twelve months, to find out whether any of the ideas put into the Bill by your Lordships' House have had a beneficial effect?