53. Mr. GREENWOOD
asked the Minister of Health whether he has been informed of a resolution passed on 28th February, at a meeting of 600 representatives of local authorities and voluntary societies in touch with the problem of maternal mortality, at which attention was called to the urgent need for medical inquiry into all deaths due to childbirth, further training and experience in midwifery as a preliminary to general practice in medicine, the appointment of an official committee to advise upon the whole question of the training and employment of midwives, action to induce local authorities to make their maternity services adequate, the readjustment and extension of national health insurance so that medical and midwifery services should be available for mothers both for ante-natal care and during and after confinement; and whether, in view of the fact that 3,000 mothers die in childbirth annually and many are injured, he can see his way to taking immediate action on the lines suggested by the conference?
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. As regards the second part, I had already had these matters under consideration in connection with the recent Report issued by my Department on the "Protection of Motherhood," and I am taking the necessary action to give effect to the recommendations contained in that Report on the first four points mentioned in the question. As regards the health insurance point, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given yesterday on this subject to the hon. Member for Anglesey (Sir R. Thomas).