HC Deb 22 February 1955 vol 537 cc142-3W
122. Mr. Peter Freeman

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his attention has been called to experiments on 600 children, mostly orphans conducted during the last three years at the Bridge of Weir, near Glasgow, for testing a new vaccine against tuberculosis; in how many cases permission was obtained from parents or guardians, and in how many permission was refused or un-obtained; whether he is aware that many of these children have contracted a serious skin disease; what other injurious effects have been observed and how far these effects are permanent; by what authority these experiments were allowed; what compensation is available to the children; and if he will take steps to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.

Commander Galbraith

I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Tradeston (Mr. Rankin) on 15th February, which makes it clear that the few late local reactions to the use of this vaccine have all been slight and are clearing up, and that the general health of the children has been entirely unaffected. Consent was given in every case either by the management of the homes actingin loco parentis for children in their care, or by the parents where these were resident members of the staff.