HC Deb 26 October 1916 vol 86 cc1290-1
48. Colonel GRIFFITHS

asked the Prime Minister if his attention has been called to various resolutions passed by public bodies calling for Government action in regard to the increase of venereal disease; and whether immediate steps will be taken with a view to notification and compulsory treatment, and thus mitigate the danger arising to innocent persons by contagion and also to safeguard the welfare and health of our troops?


My attention has been drawn to the resolutions referred to. As the House is aware the Government have already taken definite action in accordance with the recommendation of the Royal Commission on Venereal Diseases. That Commission, however, came to the unanimous conclusion that no system of notification of these diseases should be put in force at the present time, and after careful consideration I am satisfied that more progress is likely to be achieved in the immediate future in diminishing these diseases by following their recommendation than by taking the steps indicated in the resolutions.


Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the manifesto signed by Mrs. Pankhurst, Mrs. Lloyd George, and other ladies upon this question, and can he say whether the Government, before they take action—if they intend to take any action—in the direction of the compulsory notification of venereal disease, will consider that the whole weight of expert evidence is in the direction of showing that this would have exactly a contrary effect; that it would drive the matter underground and—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech!"]


The hon. Member is stating arguments.