§ 66. Mr. BOOTHBY
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the list of areas exhibiting a persistently high rate of maternal mortality included by the chief medical officer of the Ministry in his report for 1933, and whether the responsible local authorities in all or any of these areas give milk or food to expectant and nursing mothers?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Mr. Shakespeare)
The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The information in my Department shows that of the 125 maternity and child welfare authorities which function within the areas in question, all but three provide milk or food for expectant and nursing 1036 mothers, and in one of these areas any necessary supply is provided by a voluntary society. As my hon. Friend is aware, my right hon. Friend has recently drawn the attention of all maternity and child welfare authorities to the importance of this provision and he is proposing to take special action on the whole problem in the areas to which he refers.
§ Earl WINTERTON
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of the highest rates of mortality are to be found in some of the richer districts, and, for some unexplained reason, among the richer residents in those districts?
§ Miss RATHBONE
Will the hon. Member cause an inquiry to be made into the economic circumstances of the mothers who die in some of the typically high-rated areas?
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
That matter will no doubt be taken into account when special investigation is made in a particular area.
§ Mr. BOOTHBY
Will the hon. Member make immediate representations to those local authorities who do not give supplies of milk or food to expectant and nursing mothers?
Will the hon. Gentleman do more than get into touch with those authorities, because he knows of the danger which occurs time after time, and we would like to know what the Ministry means to do or whether they do nothing.