asked the Secretary of State for Employment whether his Department, or the Health and Safety Executive, intends to participate in the Conference on Ecotoxicology to be held at the University of Surrey, on the question of planning for a major industrial disaster; and if he will make a statement on his attitude to the conference.
pursuant to the reply [Official Report, 28th June 1977; Vol. 934, c. 65–6], gave the following information:I presume the hon. Member is referring to the NATO Workshop on Ecotoxicology to be held from 11th July to 8th August this year at the University of Surrey. This is, I understand, to be a closed workshop limited to 50 invited scientists from Europe, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. It is not my understanding that any part of the proceedings are to be devoted to "planning for a major industrial disaster".In any event, neither my Department nor the Health and Safety Executive has been asked to be present for the whole of the proceedings. An invitation to speak on the Health and Safety at Work Act during the third week has been accepted by the Director of the Health and Safety Executive, and a member of the Toxic Substances Branch of the Executive will speak on "The Evaluation of the Properties and the Control of Toxic Substances used at Work". These lectures will be part of an open symposium limited to industrial toxicology and I have no reason to doubt that the outcome of this symposium will be beneficial and in accordance with the aims and purposes of the executive.