HC Deb 15 March 1951 vol 485 cc1737-8
11. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Health to what cause he attributes the fact that the number of rejections among blood donors is greater now than it was in 1939.

Mr. Marquand

Before the war there were about 3,000 regular donors; there are now over 400,000 on the panel.

Mr. Bossom

Would the Minister kindly answer my Question, which asks for the cause of the deterioration in the situation? Does he disagree with the report of the Greater London Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, which says that it is due to the absence of meat in the diet of our people?

Mr. Marquand

The hon. Member did not ask about the deterioration. He asked why the number of rejections is greater than it was in 1939. Clearly, when the number of donors is very much greater it naturally follows that the number of rejections is greater. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Well, I did not think it would be necessary to give lessons in simple arithmetic. The number of donors is much larger and the number of rejections is necessarily larger, too, because the rejection proportion is about constant.

Mr. George Jeger

Are vegetarians automatically rejected?

Mr. Peter Freeman

On a point of order. Is that reflection on vegetarians justified, Sir?

Major Guy Lloyd

Why does not the right hon. Gentleman make any attempt to answer the Question on the Order Paper? It is a perfectly straight and honest Question. Why does he not give a reply? What is the number of rejections? If the right hon. Gentleman does not know, why does he not say so?

Mr. Marquand

I have said that the proportion of rejections is constant, and I am satisfied that it is.

Sir Herbert Williams

Not in the original answer.

Mr. Marquand

I was asked in the Question about the number and not the proportion. I have to answer the Question which the hon. Member has put on the Order Paper and not one which he might have in his head.