HC Deb 27 January 1944 vol 396 cc859-60
56. Sir William Davison

asked the Minister of Health whether the Government have now given further consideration to the question of the form of the birth certificate; and will steps be taken to provide for the issue of a certificate giving only the necessary dates and without additional information as to legitimacy or illegitimacy.

Mr. Willink

I have some sympathy with the view that a certified copy of a birth entry, for the issue of which alone the Births and Deaths Registration Acts provide, is in some respects unsuitable in cases in which the sole purpose is proof of age. The only satisfactory alternative appears to be the inclusion of the date of birth in a bearer document serving also as evidence of the holder's identity. Such a solution would, however, depend upon a number of other considerations; and no decision on the subject can at present be reached.

Sir W. Davison

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman realise the great unhappiness and humiliation unnecessarily caused to large numbers of boys and girls applying for appointments who have to produce a birth certificate which discloses the fact that they are illegitimate when people were not aware of it? As this is a matter of great urgency, and, in view of his sympathy, will he do something as soon as possible?

Mr. Willink

I have expressed my sympathy with my hon. Friend's point of view, but this is a complicated matter connected with the whole future of the National Register and therefore I cannot say anything further at present.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Will the Minister receive a deputation on the matter?

Mr. Willink

I will certainly consider that.