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Water Supplies (Fluoridation)

Volume 718: debated on Wednesday 3 November 1965

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many water supply authorities in Scotland have decided to add the poisonous compound sodium fluoride to their supplies of drinking water.

To date, 12 Scottish local health authorities have received approval to make arrangements for the fluoridation of the water supplies in their areas. The advice of my Standing Medical Advisory Committee is that in the recommended concentration of one part per million fluoride is not harmful to health.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a great many people do not accept the view which he has enunciated? Is he further aware that one of the authorities is Kilmarnock Town Council which, after five years' experimentation, decided to have nothing to do with this tampering with our water supplies? Does he further realise that Paisley Town Council has decided to have nothing to do with it because this poisonous compound may affect the thread industry in Paisley? Is he further aware—

I can assure my hon. Friend that it does not surprise me—nor should it surprise him, nor should he read too much into the fact—that some local authorities come down on one side and some on the other. It is a matter entirely up to their discretion. As far as Kilmarnock is concerned, I am very familiar with the hon. Member for Kilmarnock, and I can assure him that during the trial period in that area there was no evidence of any harmful effects either to individuals or to industry—and we have in Kilmarnock very considerable and important industries not unconnected with certain liquids.

On a point of order. I beg to give notice, Mr. Speaker, that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment.

I would explain to the hon. Member that what the hon. Member for Glasgow, Govan (Mr. Rankin) has just done precludes me from calling him.