HC Deb 20 November 1961 vol 649 cc924-5
31. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Health how many cases of leprosy have been notified in this country during the past five years; and how this figure compares with the previous five years.

Miss Pitt

One hundred and ninety-three in England and Wales from mid-1956 to mid-1961. This was 17 fewer than in the previous five years.

Mrs. Castle

Does not this reduction in the number of cases of leprosy in the past five years make absolute nonsense of the scandalous propaganda adopted by both Fascist and Conservative candidates in the Moss Side by-election, designed to frighten people into supporting the Government's measure to control immigration on the grounds that leprosy was on the increase in this country due to the increase in the number of immigrants?

Mr. Speaker

Order. I do not see how the Minister of Health can be responsible for propaganda.

Mrs. Castle

In order to allay public anxiety on this matter, may I ask the Minister to make sure that a public apology is made by the hon. Member for Manchester, Moss Side (Mr. F. Taylor) to his constituents?