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Volume 888: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether it is her policy to seek to enforce a national programme of fluoridation of water supplies, or to permit regional water authorities freedom of choice in this matter.

Under the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 it is the responsibility of each health authority to decide in respect of its own area whether it wishes fluoridation to be introduced and, if so, to approach the appropriate regional water authority. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment would expect a regional water authority to give effect as soon as it reasonably could to a health authority's request for fluoridation, provided this was acceptable to any other health authority whose area would receive supplies of the fluoridated water.