– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th May 1956.
asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the fact that there were some 1,000 additional deaths in the Greater London area during the dense fog of 4th to 6th January, 1956, and that the principal cause of this increased death rate was the sulphur fumes in the atmosphere, he will arrange for the acidity and sulphur content of the atmosphere in industrial areas to be regularly estimated so that warning of approaching danger may be given and precautions taken by those most susceptible
I have been asked to reply. Arrangements are already in force for warnings and advice to be broadcast when persistent fog is forecast in industrial areas. Regular measurements of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere are made by some 180 local authorities and other bodies
In how many areas was warning given before the fog in January last? Would the Minister not agree that if the warnings had been more efficiently given and heeded and if susceptible people had been removed and possibly ammonia used in the houses of those who could not be removed, a good many of the thousands who died need not have died had these precautions been taken?
The heeding of the warnings is, of course, a matter for the general public, but the warnings were duly given by the B.B.C.
Is the proportion of deaths from the presence of sulphur fumes in the atmosphere greater or less than the number of deaths that arise from cancer of the lung attributable to heavy cigarette smoking?
In view of the fact that the highest authorities state that clean air will reduce the incidence of a widespread disease—chronic bronchitis—why has the Minister of Health asked another Minister to answer a Question which comes within his domain?
The right hon. Lady will know that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government has been primarily concerned with legislative and other measures in connection with the pollution of the air
When this announcement was made, were suggestions made of how the danger could be minimised?
I will gladly give the hon. Member details of the actual form in which the warnings were given