Throughout the history of the Board of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries there had been occasional one-off enquiries into environmental issues, of which the most significant was the Standing Committee on River Pollution (SCORP). This was a body comprised of industrial and other interested parties to which the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries provided support, rather than leading.
In 1921 a Standing Committee on River Pollution (SCORP) was established to assist the industry in dealing with the question of pollution. This small, honorary committee was based in the ministry's headquarters. It comprised representatives of the industry, the National Association of Fishery Boards, the Salmon and Trout Association, the Federation of Anglers Associations, the Federation of British Industries and the Alliance for the Prevention of Pollution. Representatives were subsequently appointed from the Mining Association of Great Britain and the Ministry of Health.
The committee sought to achieve co-operation between industrial and fishery interests in mitigating the effects of river pollution. The ministry asked the committee to co-operate on (1) the collection of evidence as to the damaging effects of different pollutions on fisheries; (2) studying the individual and aggregate effects of different pollutions affecting fish; and (3) assisting investigations of the means by which pollution waste from factories could be dealt with so as to safeguard fishing interests without unduly interfering with the prosperity of the manufacturing industry
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