HC Deb 22 June 1939 vol 348 cc2439-40
49. Mr. Hannah

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the inevitable eventual results of a continuance of our existing birth-rate; and whether, in the light of the experiences of other countries, he will consider taking effective measures to deal with this problem?

Mr. Elliot

The potential effect of a continuance of the present birth-rate is well recognised. With regard to the second part of the question, further study of the subject will be necessary in the light of the information now beginning to accrue under the Population (Statistics) Act, which was passed by this House as my hon. Friend is aware, in order to provide a basis of fact for the practical consideration of the problems involved.

Mr. Hannah

Is not a Royal Commission on this extremely important subject very necessary?

Viscountess Astor

Would it not be wiser to take steps to save the lives of the 57,000 children who die before they are five years old, than to have a Royal Commission to see why more children are not born?

Mr. Wedgwood Benn

Has not the Noble Lady read the article in the "Times" showing that we are an A1 nation?

Viscountess Astor

Could I have an answer from the right hon. Gentleman? Is it not the case that this number of children die before five years of age?

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