§ 22. Major Markham
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the composition of the special inquiry being made by the Scientific Advisory Committee into neo-natal mortality; whether the personnel conducting this inquiry will include scientists other than medical officers; whether it will have facilities to visit places in the British Isles and elsewhere; and whether it will be instructed to take into consideration latest developments into the U.S.A. and comparable areas with low infant mortality rates.
I have asked the Scientific Advisory Committeeto consider the factors specially responsible for that part of infant mortality attributable to infections, with particular reference to the first month of life, and to suggest means for reducing mortality from this cause.The personnel making this inquiry and the manner in which it should be conducted are for the Committee to decide, but I have no doubt that all relevant information, including experience and developments elsewhere, will be carefully weighed.
§ Major Markham
In view of the fact that the committee selected for the last inquiry into infant mortality was restricted to medical officers, will my right hon. Friend see to it that the next inquiry embraces a much wider field?
It is not quite correct to say that the previous inquiry was restricted to medical officers alone.
Dr. Russell Thomas
In view of the fact that asphyxia is one of the commonest causes of neo-natal deaths and is frequently brought on by chloroform and "twilight sleep," would the right hon. Gentleman impress upon his Advisory Committee that child birth, normally, is a natural phenomenon, and not an artificial condition or disease?
Could not the right hon. Gentleman see to it that there are on that Committee wise, sensible and intelligent women, and not medical men, who do not know what well people look like?
The Noble Lady has, no doubt, been misinformed. There were several well qualified women on the Committee.