§ 20. Sir BASIL PETO
asked the Minister of Health whether his Department has any statistics of the number of deaths of women in pregnancy from septic peritonitis; and whether he proposes to take any steps to safeguard them against the onset of this condition at maternity welfare centres?
The last year for which a detailed classification of the deaths due to pregnancy and childbearing is at present available is 1925, and in that year there were 84 deaths from septic peritonitis, perimetritis, and pelvic peritonitis. As regards the second part of the question it is one of the duties of the doctors at ante-natal clinics to detect and remedy any focus of infection which might later be a cause of septic infection.
§ Sir B. PETO
Can the right hon. Gentleman have the returns of his Department kept a little more up to date—those are for 1925—and, further, may I ask whether he is not aware that septic peritonitis almost always supervenes upon attempted abortion, and is not that brought about by the policy of his Department in denying information on birth control at maternity and welfare centres?
Dr. VERNON DAVIES
In what way is it possible to get rid of septic peritonitis by anything that is done at an ante-natal centre?
§ Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY
Will the right hon. Gentleman deny the suggestion that his policy, approved by this House, of refusing Government information on birth control is in any way responsible for this state of affairs?
§ Mr. THURTLE
Is it not the fact that the lack of information as to restriction of families does cause these cases?