Smoke Abatement, Stoke-on-Trent (Hansard, 3 July 1951)
HC Deb 03 July 1951 vol 489 cc2124-5
19 and 20. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Minister of Local Government and Planning (1) if he will take urgent action to minimise the smoke poured into the atmosphere over the city of Stoke-on-Trent;

(2) if he will take immediate action to minimise the effect of smoke poured into the air over Trent Vale, Fenton, Blurton and Longton, and to see that the chimneys of the tileries are lifted at once so that the smoke misses the houses of the people.

Mr. Dalton

I regret that I have no statutory power to deal with this. As modern kilns are built, there should be considerable improvement, and officers of my Department have been in consultation with the manufacturers on the best ways of minimising this trouble.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the conditions under which these people have been living for generations is scandalous? If they can do what they have done over Pittsburg, it should be possible to do the same in our industrial centres. In view of the fact that this House can devote days and days to considering the question of the pollution of rivers, does not my right hon. Friend think that the time has arrived when we should devote a few hours to dealing with the pollution of the atmosphere?

Mr. Dalton

I quite agree that the atmosphere above the pottery towns is very bad. As my hon. Friend says, that is due to what has happened in past generations. That is past history. Labour has not been in power for one generation.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Will my right hon. Friend take a personal interest in this by getting a leading official of his,Department to go to have an interview with the municipalities with a view to doing whatever can be done?

Mr. Dalton

That has frequently been done, and it will be done again if necessary.

Sir Herbert Williams

Is it not the case that the City of Stoke and the four other pottery towns have been dominated by Socialist councils and represented by Socialist Members of Parliament for years? As one who is concerned with the industry in Sheffield, may I ask what the council has done? Nothing.

GLOBAL ISLES COURT OF RECORD