HL Deb 17 December 1958 vol 213 cc393-4

2.35 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 whether their attention has been drawn to the first conference on air pollution held in the U.S.A. on November 18; whether they agree with the opinion expressed by several eminent U.S. health officers that there is a connection between lung cancer and pollution of the air by motor exhaust fumes; and, if so, whether they have any action in mind to lessen such pollution.]


My Lords, the answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes". A preliminary report on the recent United States national conference on air pollution has been studied by experts in this country. Although certain speakers at the conference repeated the suggestion which has been made elsewhere, that a connection exists between lung cancer and exposure to motor exhaust fumes, I understand that no new evidence was produced to support the theory that there is a causal relationship between them. Further research is, however, being carried on, both in this country and the United States of America, which will, it is hoped, throw further light upon the problem.


My Lords, while thanking my noble friend for his reply, may I ask the following supplementary? In order to resolve all doubt on this subject, are Her Majesty's Government doing everything they can to encourage research into the invention of an economical method of running urban public service vehicles on stored electricity, which would make our cities cleaner and quieter?


My Lords, I do not know that that is really a fair supplementary question. I can tell my noble friend that if he can find a way of doing that, he will not need any Government help: he will be a millionaire overnight.

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