§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to the reply by the hon. Member for Suffolk, Coastal (Mr. Gummer) on 7 December to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe, what are his responsibilities for the effects on public health of the extensive use of microwaves in telecommunications; and what his Department has done in this matter.
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
My Department is responsible for licensing those, other than the broadcasters, seeking microwave radio facilities. As part of the licensing procedure applicants are asked to declare that the field strengths around stations will not exceed the permitted levels recommended by the Medical Research Council or that, where they do, safety precautions will be followed and members of the public will be excluded from the area.
My Department liaises with the Health and Safety Executive about the work done in this field on the latter's behalf by the National Radiological Protection Board, which is now responsible for advising the Government on the standards of protection that should be adopted in the future.