The Parliamentary Secretary should bring himself up to date in this matter. Is he aware that in March of this year 28 persons were being treated for brucellosis by one doctor alone in Macclesfield? Is it not absurd that measles should be made notifiable but not this devastating disease, which can last for months and years? What does his Department intend to do about it?
Our advice is that it is very difficult to recognise this disease and that, therefore, national or local notification would not be of very great practical value. My right hon. Friends the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Secretary of State for Scotland are introducing a scheme for the eradication of brucellosis in animals, which is the real way of solving the problem.
The matter is not quite as simple as the hon. Gentleman tries to make out. Of course, nothing is simple, but where we have the difficulty of diagnosis there is no possible value in having notification. We will co-operate to the fullest extent with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, but, beyond that, there is nothing much we can do to make a really valuable contribution to the solution of the problem.
Whilst I agree with what my hon. Friends says, would it not be possible to get on with some scheme of total eradication? Because this disease is difficult to diagnose in the first instance, it is not always treated with the seriousness it deserves, and I have reason to believe that there are possibly many more cases than we know about.