HC Deb 07 July 1958 vol 591 cc22-3
34. The Rev. Ll. Williams

asked the Minister of Health the number of persons who died as a result of bronchitis during the years 1950, 1955, and 1957, respectively.

Mr. Walker-Smith

The number of deaths attributed to bronchitis in 1950, 1955 and 1957 in England and Wales was:—

1950 28,257
1955 28,793
1957 26,930 (Provisional)

The Rev. Ll. Williams

Is the Minister aware that these figures reveal a frightening state of affairs, that we are probably the worst country in the world in the incidence of bronchitis and deaths from bronchitis, that the figures for Scandinavia are forty times better than for Great Britain, and that in heavy industrialised areas such as the Ruhr and Belgium the figures are four times better than the figures in Britain?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I do not entirely accept the ratios which the hon. Member has given, but I do accept that the figures here are a good deal ahead of the other countries to which he has referred. It certainly is a considerable problem in this country and is accepted as such.

Dr. Summerskill

Representing a constituency with the highest mortality from chronic bronchitis, may I ask how far the Minister is collaborating with local authorities to establish clean air zones?

Mr. Walker-Smith

Clean air zones, as the right hon. Lady will appreciate, are not the responsibility of my Department, but I am, of course, constructively interested in all aspects of preventive medicine.

Forward to