§ Mr. Bishop
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he is taking to encourage and aid research into the prevention of mental handicap and physical disability, their alleviation and remedy.
§ Sir K. Joseph
My Department has for some years been sponsoring epidemiological research related to mental handicap as well as studies in the genetics field directed at the causes and prevention of both mental and physical handicap. It is also promoting research in support of its services for child assessment and development, and parental counselling; in the learning processes of handicapped persons; and in the residential and community care of the mentally handicapped. The cost of these researches in the last financial year was £350,000.
A great deal of research into the causes and alleviation of mental retardation and physical impairment is carried out under auspices of the Medical Research Council, which is the main Government agency for medical research.
Handicap is, in practice, treated as a priority area for research and my Department is always prepared to support soundly constructed projects in these fields.