HC Deb 28 July 1937 vol 326 cc3080-1
44. Mr. David Adams

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the infant mortality rate in Barbadoes in 1935 was 220 per 1,000; and will he state what steps have been taken to improve the low health standards of these people?

Sir A. Lambert Ward

Yes, Sir; my right hon. Friend is aware of this fact. With regard to the second part of the question, a Committee on Problems of Nutrition, appointed by the Governor, recently reported, and my right hon. Friend understands that as a result of its recommendations, proposals for the establishment of infant welfare clinics and crèches in all the parishes, on lines similar to those at present existing in two of them, are now before the vestries. The necessary arrangements for the establishment of a system of daily distribution of milk and biscuits to elementary school children are also under consideration by the Education Board. An important source of ill-health in the Colony is overcrowding and bad housing, and an attempt has been made to remedy this by the establishment of a Housing Board, which is empowered to order the alteration, repair, or demolition of certain houses which are injurious to health or unfit for human habitation, and to acquire land and build suitable houses.

Mr. Adams

Does not the Minister consider that this shocking state of affairs, which has continued for so many years, is a disgrace to the Department?