HC Deb 01 August 1984 vol 65 cc359-61W
Mr. Hoyle

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if, in the light of the recommendations of the Warnock committee, he will ensure that any new developments in genetic engineering to which its recommendations are relevant are referred to the advisory committee on genetic manipulation; and if he will take

and (b) has given to interested parties running take-up campaigns for social security benefits; and what study he has made of the results of such campaigns.

Mr. Newton

The Department is prepared in appropriate circumstances to co-operate with interested organisations in mounting take-up campaigns. The help given varies according to circumstances but can include providing advice and information, co-operation to ensure an orderly receipt of claims resulting from the campaign, and supplying leaflets and envelopes. Results of recent campaigns indicate that to be effective they need to be well directed; indiscriminate leaflet distribution to all households in a particular area produces disproportionately small results.

Mrs. Beckett

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the cost of and the number of claimants receiving (a) standard housing benefit (rent rebate and allowances) and (b) certificated housing benefit (supplementary benefit housing rent addition payments), in Great Britain and in London in each year from 1978–79 to 1983–84.

Dr. Boyson

[pursuant to his reply, 19 June 1984, c. 143–44]: Information is not available in the precise form requested. The information which is available is given below:

steps to ensure that the committee is consulted on all proposals to put genetically manipulated material into embryos;

(2) if he will take steps to ensure that the advisory committee on genetic manipulation is required to advise on all proposals to insert genetically manipulated material into adults and children to correct genetic defects; and when he expects the committee to issue advice on the safety precautions to be observed when doing research in genetic material which causes cancer in humans.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Ethical issues relating to the use of genetic manipulation techniques and the possible therapeutic use of recombinant DNA technology do not come within the remit of the advisory committee on genetic manipulation. It is for doctors to determine what treatment is appropriate in individual cases. We are however, currently seeking the advice of the standing medical advisory committee on what special arrangements, if any, would be appropriate for advising clinicians on the treatment of humans with genetically manipulated material. Decisions on the recommendations of the Warnock inquiry will be taken in the light of the consultations now in progress.

The second part of the first question is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment.

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