asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the numbers of identified bronchitis and emphysema sufferers who have been employed as coalminers, quarrymen, and pottery workers; if she will initiate a study of the criteria used to identify industrial diseases in this area; and if she will make a statement.
I regret that the information is not available. I have no proposals to review the conditions which must be satisfied before a disease can be prescribed as an industrial disease attracting the special benefits of the Industrial Injuries Scheme. These conditions of necessity require that there should be significant evidence of a direct link between the occupation and the disease. It is the absence of such evidence which prevents the prescription of bronchitis and emphysema.