HC Deb 11 November 1943 vol 393 c1274
32. Dr. Edith Summerskill

asked the Minister of Health why a gas and air apparatus for the purpose of easing the pains of childbirth is not provided in every maternity hospital and home where the Government has made provision for expectant mothers?

Mr. E. Brown

A gas and air apparatus has been supplied to every emergency maternity home where a request has been made by the local authority administering the home and where the staff included a midwife holding the special certificate for the administration of gas and air analgesia. In these days of shortage of midwives it is not always possible to spare a member of the staff to take the special training.

Dr. Summerskill

In view of the fact that anaesthetics were introduced into this country 100 years ago, can the right hon. Gentleman explain why the Government still allow women in their own establishments to have their babies under primitive conditions?

Mr. Brown

That is not the Question on the Paper.