HC Deb 12 March 1956 vol 550 c24
26. Mr. Teeling

asked the Minister of Health why Her Majesty's Government are not sending a representative to the Conference on Leprosy called by the Sovereign Order of Malta in Rome for 16th April, to which Her Majesty's Government have been sent an invitation.

Mr. Turton

Because this conference is not primarly inter-governmental. The normal machinery for discussions between Governments on health problems is provided by the World Health Organisation, in which, of course, this country plays an active part.

Mr. Teeling

Does not my right hon. Friend realise that this is probably the oldest Order of Mercy in the world—certainly in the Christian world—and does not he think, in view of the fact that other countries are sending delegations to this conference, it would be of great help to the cause if the information which we must have at our disposal could be given to this conference?

Mr. Turton

I think we must restrict the number of conferences abroad to which we send representatives. It has always been a rule to confine them to inter-Governmental conferences.