§ 37. Mr. HAYES
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that in the annual report of the medical officer of health of the county borough of Bootle the Registrar-General's estimate of the population is used for the calculation of the death rate and birth rate, whilst a lower estimate is used in calculating the housing needs of the area, thereby minimising the housing shortage; and whether he will take steps to ensure that medical officers of health use an agreed population figure?
I find that, in the report in question, full attention is drawn to the difference between the Registrar General's estimate of population and that of the medical officer of health, and the report is, therefore, in no way misleading in this respect. I see no reason to take any special steps in the matter.
§ Mr. HAYES
Is it not the fact that the death-rate percentages have been calculated upon the higher rate of population, while the housing needs have been estimated on the lower rate, and that, as a result, the requirements of something like 2,500 people have not been provided for; and does not the right hon. Gentleman think that the dis- 2034 crepancy is so important that there ought to be an agreed figure?
Lieut.-Colonel Sir VIVIAN HENDERSON
Is my right hon. Friend aware that this matter was fully discussed by the Bootle Town Council, and that ample reasons were given in the newspaper report—which the hon. Member for Edge Hill (Mr. Hayes) probably has not read—why there is a difference in the two calculations?
The real point is whether the report is so worded as to mislead anyone, and, as the circumstances are so fully explained in the report, I do not think it would be possible for anyone to be misled.