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Farmer's Lung

Volume 655: debated on Monday 12 March 1962

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49.

asked the Minister of Health how many oases of farmer's lung have occurred during each of the past five years; whether it is now possible to tell with certainty that this disease is not tuberculosis; whether complete cures have been effected in all cases; and whether those concerned have been fitted into other employment in view of the fact that this is an industrial disease due to dust connected with their work, to which they cannot return

I am advised that fanner's lung, which is a chest condition affecting farm workers and others, is clearly distinguishable from tuberculosis. I regret that the further information requested is not available.

Is the hon. Lady satisfied that every step is being taken to provide proper facilities for a different occupation for those who suffer from this disease, and does she know how far the disease has in fact been cured in the cases which have come to her notice?

The question of occupation is, of course, for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour. In fact this is not a disease. It is a condition to which farm workers are subject, and facilities for its treatment are available under the National Health Service.

When she gets a Question of this nature, does not the hon. Lady think it advisable to consult her fellow Ministers with a view to ascertaining what exactly the position is? Why push it aside on to another Minister?

No. Employment is a matter properly the responsibility of my right hon. Friend. To consult only means yet another channel of getting for the hon. Member the information he requires.