§ MR. D. A. THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board when the Sixty-fourth Annual Report (Births, Deaths, and Marriages, England) of the Registrar General for 1901, presented 4th August 1902, and when the Supplement to the Thirty-first Annual Report of the Local Government Board, 1901–2, containing the Report of the Medical Officer for 1901–2, presented 3rd November 1902, will be delivered; if he can say what has been the cause of the delay in the publication of these Reports; and if he will take steps to alter the practice of presenting Command Papers in dummy in one session when not ready, and not delivering them until the next, in view of the inconvenience involved.
(Answered by Mr. Walter Long.) As regards the Annual Report of the Registrar General, I am informed that it will be issued with very little further delay. The Registrar General states that the Report has been delayed exceptionally this year on account of the heavy pressure in his office due to the preparation of the Census Returns, and† See page 1080.‡See (4) Debates, cxxv., 150.1276 also to an important change which it has been found necessary to make in the tabulation of deaths. The Report of the Medical Officer of the Local Government Board, to which the hon. Member refers, has gone to press and will, I understand, probably be issued within a month. The issue of the Report this year has been delayed through the amount of special work which has been thrown on the medical branch in connection with the recent smallpox epidemic. I am desirous that Reports which are presented in dummy should be issued as soon as possible afterwards; but, as the hon. Member will see, the delay in the present cases was due to exceptional circumstances.