HC Deb 16 January 1979 vol 960 cc713-4W
Sir George Young

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services under what conditions a copy of the Shooter report on Birmingham university was made available to the general secretary of the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs.

Mr. Ennals

Legal advice tendered to me was that the report should not be pub- lished at present, in view of the impending prosecution of Birmingham university by the Health and Safety Executive. However, pre-publication copies were made available on 21st December 1978 to the University of Birmingham, the Health and Safety Executive, the World Health Organisation, the TUC and trade unions directly concerned, including ASTMS, under cover of a letter setting out the legal advice I had received. This was done to enable them to take such immediate action as might be appropriate on general issues of health and safety which were involved. Copies of the report have also been sent to laboratories recorded as holding category A pathogens.