Marine Life

Oral Answers to Questions — Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st May 1963.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian 12:00 am, 21st May 1963

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what long-term studies are being conducted of the way in which minerals are extracted and concentrated by marine life; and what communications he has had with industry on this subject.

Photo of Mr Denzil Freeth Mr Denzil Freeth , Basingstoke

Research has been carried out for many years at marine laboratories in the United Kingdom, and particularly at the Plymouth Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association, on the concentration by marine animals and plants of the chemical constituents of sea water, including at the present time caesium, potassium, sodium, zinc and manganese, and in recent years strontium, iodine, niobium and vanadium. I have had no communications with industry on this subject.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

Does not the hon. Member agree that the vanadium aspect is extremely important industrially? What can he do to bring this to the notice of industry?

Photo of Mr Denzil Freeth Mr Denzil Freeth , Basingstoke

At present most of the research is of a very basic nature, but if industry believes that there is a commercial proposition here, I have no doubt that it will have noted the hon. Member's Question and my Answer.

Photo of Mr Tom Driberg Mr Tom Driberg , Barking

Can the hon. Member say whether this research covers the effect upon oysters of hot, chlorinated and slightly radioactive effluent from nuclear power stations?

Photo of Mr Denzil Freeth Mr Denzil Freeth , Basingstoke

Perhaps the hon. Member would be good enough to put down a Question on that point. My interest in oysters would preclude me from giving an answer off the cuff.