HC Deb 18 December 1973 vol 866 cc281-3W
Q8. Mr. Dormand

asked the Prime Minister if he will now make a statement on the comments which he invited from the joint Cancer Research Campaign, the Medical Research Council and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Co-ordinating Committee for Cancer Research, following the publication of Lord Zuckerman's report on cancer research.

The Prime Minister

I give below a note on the progress with projects identified

(The figures in brackets give the rough estimates of cost assumed by the Joint Co-ordinating Committee. In the case of (a)1 and (b)1 the organisations concerned had agreed to the expansion indicated before the JCC made its proposals).
(a)Proposals involving additional recurrent expenditure
1. Extra chairs in clinical oncology (£81,000 per annum).
As noted by the JCC the Cancer Research Campaign had agreed to fund three additional chairs.
2. NHS Consultant Posts (£90,000 per annum).
Clinical Training Posts (£27,000 per annum).
Extra posts will be provided by the National Health Service.
3. (a) Senior Non-Clinical posts and supporting staff (£284,000 per annum).
(b) Non-clinical training posts
(c) Travelling fellowships
(d) Staff for clinical trials
Some posts under (a) may appropriately be provided by health departments in a hospital context as part of a regional development programme. Others will be provided by the MRC who expect to commit an extra £30,000 in 1974–75 and up to £50,000 per annum in succeeding years on these items.

as desirable by the co-ordinating committee.

With the exception of the costly project for the rebuilding of the Institute for Cancer Research, to which further thought needs to be given, voluntary sources, the National Health Service and the Medical Research Council are already planning to cover in whole or in part all the items which the Co-ordinating Committee for Cancer Research had in mind.

Lord Zuckerman advocated a steady rather than any sudden increase in expenditure on cancer research. The coordinating committee was also clear that any increase in the resources devoted to cancer research should not be at the expense of biomedical research generally, much of which may be related to cancer problems. This view is shared by the Medical Research Council.

These considerations, together with the pressure on available resources, must affect the time and scale of the Government's response to the co-ordinating committee's suggestions. But I believe that a good start has already been made. On the health service side, a pilot development of regional cancer services has been launched. Expenditure on cancer research by the Medical Research Council, which has already risen from £2½ million in 1971–72 to an expected £3½ million in 1973–74, is expected to reach some £4 million next year.

This is an area where voluntary funding has an important rôle to play in partnership with public funds and I would like to take this opportunity of paying a warm tribute to the important contributions of the voluntary bodies in this field.

4. Further recurrent expenditure associated with capital developments (£100,000 per annum). See under (6)2, 3 and 5 below.
(b)Capital Proposals
1. Rebuilding and modernisation of Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, Mill Hill (£1.0 million).
ICRF Research Unit at St. Bartholomew's Hospital (£0.5 million).
As noted by the JCC the ICRF had already agreed to fund these projects.
2. Clinical Tumor Biology Unit, Cambridge (£0.8 million).
The MRC will be ready to provide funds to establish this unit, subject to agreement on the plan for associated NHS clinical facilities. MRC recurrent expenditure is likely to rise to about £70,000 per annum.
3. New building for MRC Mammalian Genome Unit, Edinburgh (£0.22 million).
The MRC started capital funding of this project in 1973–74: associated recurrent expenditure likely to rise to about £85,000 per annum.
4. New building for DHSS-MRC Epidemiology Unit, Oxford (£80,000). The DHSS propose to fund this item.
5. Facilities for expansion of Neutron Therapy Trials (£1 million).
A new facility will be provided at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, at a cost of about £0.9 million, to be shared between the MRC (£0.45 million), the Cancer Research Campaign (£0.35 million), and the Scottish Home & Health Department (£0.1 million). The possible use of other facilities for neutron therapy is being considered by the MRC. Eventual recurrent expenditure is likely to be about £85,000 per annum, of which approximately £20,000 will be provided by the Scottish Home & Health Department.
6. Research Facilities at Oncological Centres (£1.0 million).
The MRC accept in principle the need for additional research facilities and will consider the scientific requirements in detail in each individual case.
7. Rebuilding of the Institute of Cancer Research at Sutton (£3.5 million).
New building for the Beatson Institute, Glasgow, (£0.8 million).
£0.36 million has already been provided for the Beatson Institute by the Wolfson Foundation. Recent proposals from ICR are being studied.