HC Deb 15 March 1939 vol 345 cc403-4
61. Mr. Mathers

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is pre- pared to make improved provision in the Colonial Office for encouraging the development of the social services in the Colonial Empire?

Mr. M. MacDonald

Yes, Sir. Consider able attention is, of course, already paid to this subject by my Department, but the volume of work has increased to such an extent that it has outgrown the arrangements at present made for dealing with it. It has accordingly been decided to set up, as from the beginning of next month, a separate Social Services Department in the Colonial Office in the charge of an assistant secretary. It will be the duty of this Department, working in close co-operation with my medical, educational, labour and other advisers, to assist me in dealing with all matters affecting public health, nutrition, education, labour, prisons, housing and the like in the Colonial Empire.

Mr. Mathers

In view of that welcome reply, will the right hon. Gentleman be able to give information from time to time as to the development of this Department and the progress it is making?

Mr. MacDonald

Perhaps the hon. Member will put questions down from time to time from the beginning of next month.

Captain Arthur Evans

Is it not a fact that the Governor of Jamaica announced an extension of social services only yesterday?

Mr. MacDonald

Yes, Sir.

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