Members (Cardiovascular Arteriosclerotic Disease)

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd January 1967.

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Photo of Dr David Kerr Dr David Kerr , Wandsworth Central 12:00 am, 23rd January 1967

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will institute studies of the incidence of the cardiovascular arteriosclerotic disease among Members of Parliament in order to promote preventive measures against this condition.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I accept the seriousness of the Question and if my hon. Friend wishes to send me evidence in favour of his suggestion I will take advice on it.

Photo of Dr David Kerr Dr David Kerr , Wandsworth Central

While I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for keeping the door open, may I ask whether he is aware that it is nearly two years since the Parliamentary Medical Committee made some observations in connection with this, and more than a year since his predecessor announced to the House that a local practitioner had offered to act as honorary physician to the House? In view of the recent deaths of colleagues on both sides of the House, can he not proceed a little more constructively and quickly on this question?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I have indicated my view that cardiovascular arteriosclerotic disease may possibly be an occupational disease of M.Ps. However, I want to have more evidence of this, through the expert knowledge of my hon. Friend. If he gives me the expert evidence I will take advice upon this.

Photo of Sir Robert Cary Sir Robert Cary , Manchester, Withington

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is not a fact that cardiovascular diseases can apply to many other activities in life? Surely there is no need to put Members of Parliament in a special category and frighten the wits out of our families?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

Whether we are placed in this special category does not really determine what disease we die from. I merely have my hon. Friend's expert view of this. As I said, if he can provide me with evidence to suggest that the worst is true, despite all that my hon. Friends and I think about it, then let him do it. He has to provide me with reasonable evidence before I take advice.