HC Deb 16 March 1938 vol 333 cc398-9
25. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the recent report on nutrition in Ceylon; and what action is being taken to improve nutrition and diminish mortality and ill-health?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

Yes, Sir; two reports on this important subject have been published in the last year. As regards the second part of the question, it would be impossible to compress within the limits of a Parliamentary answer the measures which are being taken by Ceylon Ministers to improve nutrition. But as an instance of the great importance which I know Ministers in Ceylon attach to the subject (it is one which under the constitution falls wholly within their competence) I may add that a sum of Rs.1, 000,000 has been voted this year for providing meals for school children.

Mr. Sorensen

Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that 1,000,000 rupees goes very far towards meeting this very serious condition?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

It would be improper for me to express an opinion on a matter which is not within my province.

Mr. T. Williams

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it was generally the opinion of medical officers in Ceylon that the absence of resistance when the malaria epidemic overtook them trebled the deathrate?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

That certainly was the opinion expressed by a great many medical officers. No doubt this is a matter which the responsible Ministers in Ceylon take into account.