§ 32. Mr. JAMES DUNCAN
asked the Minister of Health (1) if he is satisfied that the steps taken to deal with infant mortality in Kensington are adequate;
1244 (2) what steps are being taken by the Kensington Borough Council to reduce the infant death-rate in North Kensington?
Sir H. YOUNG
I am informed that the subject of infant mortality in Kensington has at all times received careful attention and study by the borough council, and has recently been the subject of a special investigation by them. The council have provided a comprehensive maternity and child welfare service, which has recently been augmented by the appointment of a special whole-time medical officer, and my information is that the service is constantly under review by the borough council. I am satisfied with the nature of these measures.
Does not the Minister consider that the mortality rate in Kensington of 120 per 1,000 is a disgrace and a scandal to the biggest borough in London?
Does not the Minister realise that the abnormal death-rate in Kensington of 120 per 1,000 is largely due to the overcrowding slum conditions in Kensington, and does he think that the Kensington Borough Council have done their duty in this respect? If he does, nobody else does.
Sir H. YOUNG
As regards the last part of the supplementary question, I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I have given. As regards the remainder of the question, while not accepting the implications of his question regarding this particular borough, undoubtedly the effects of slum conditions upon infant mortality are direct.
Does the Minister realise that 55 per cent. of the total deaths in North Kensington were babies of the unemployed?