HC Deb 13 February 1961 vol 634 cc927-8
39. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the increased incidence of venereal diseases shown by recent statistics, he will now initiate a national campaign of popular education and warning in regard to the infectious characteristics of these diseases.

Mr. Powell

Before deciding what further measures of education ought to be taken, I shall need to study the result of inquiries now being made by my Standing Medical Advisory Committee, by a commission of the British Medical Association and by the Co-operative Clinical Group.

Dr. Johnson

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that this alarming increase, which was revealed in the figures which he gave me recently, is comprised substantially of young people? Is he not aware that many of these young people appear to be quite ignorant of what is a natural hazard but what, to some of them at any rate, I think, appears to be a spare-time occupation? Will not he give a personal lead in encouraging this education, once he receives the report?

Mr. Powell

Yes, Sir. I will try to do so, but the important thing is to understand better than we do at present the underlying causes of this phenomenon.

Mr. K. Robinson

In order to keep the matter in perspective, will the Minister agree that, while there has been a disturbing rise in the incidence of gonorrhoea, syphilis is still broadly under control?

Mr. Powell

That is so.

40. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the statistical table relating to cases of gonorrhoea in the annual report of his chief medical officer for the year 1959, which was issued until November, 1960, relates only to 1958; and whether, in view of the importance of this subject, he will ensure that future reports contain more up-to-date statistics.

Mr. Powell

The main statistical table includes figures for 1959; quarterly figures appear in my Ministry's Monthly Bulletin.