HC Deb 01 December 1958 vol 596 cc832-3
31. Mr. Hastings

asked the Minister of Health what action he is taking, or is proposing to take, to implement the suggestion in the report of his Department for 1957, Part II, that it would be worth paying more attention to alcoholism in educational material on health matters addressed to the general public in sample localities.

Mr. R. Thompson

This is a matter for consideration by local health authorities who will, I hope, consider this and other suggestions made in the Report as part of their health education programmes.

Mr. Hastings

Will not the Minister consider this as a matter of urgency? Does he realise that the number of convictions for drunkenness is increasing? Is he aware that the number of convictions of boys and young men has quadrupled between 1946 and 1956; that the number of pages given to the description of the effects of alcohol in "Suggestion for Health Education" for teachers has been whittled down from 10 to 1; and that there is constant propaganda in favour of drinking on wireless, television and the hoardings? Does not the hon. Gentleman feel that something more ought to be done than merely passing the matter on to local authorities?

Mr. Thompson

The chief medical officer has suggested that public health personnel should be aware of the medical and social implications of alcoholism which the hon. Gentleman has in mind and be alert to the possibility of alcoholic problems in their case work, but I would not have thought that there was an indication that a nationally organised campaign is wanted at present.