§ 35. Mr. BOWERMAN
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the inconvenient manner in which the work of death registration is being carried on at Greenwich: whether the hours of attendance thereat are regulated by his Department; and, if so, will he consider the desirability of so rearranging them as to more fully meet the convenience of the public?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood)
My right hon. Friend has received the complaint to which it is understood that the hon. Member's question relates. The hours of attendance of registrars of births and deaths are subject to the approval of the Registrar-General; and, in the particular case in question, the hours were recently revised and substantially increased to a 875 level which should be adequate in all ordinary circumstances. With regard to the particular occasion complained of, my right hon. Friend understands that, owing to a marked temporary increase in local mortality due to the influenza epidemic, there was on this occasion an abnormal attendance of informants seeking to effect registrations; but, while he regrets that any inconvenience should thereby have been caused to any members of the public, it will be appreciated that no extension of hours would meet the occasional case where, as in the present instance, a number of informants happen to attend at the same time and prefer to wait instead of attending later.
§ Mr. BOWERMAN
Has the Minister ever considered the desirability of having this work transacted in the various town halls?
§ Sir K. WOOD
I saw that suggestion, and have read the correspondence to which the right hon. Gentleman refers. I think that this case was an exceptional one, and I may say that my right hon. Friend regrets that the gentleman in question was inconvenienced on that occasion, but I hope he will realise that it was owing to exceptional circumstances, and that we really have done a good deal, by increasing the hours, to meet the convenience of the public in that part of London.