HC Deb 17 July 1963 vol 681 cc507-8
19. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many cases of venereal disease have been reported at Greenock during the last three years.

Mr. Brooman-White

The numbers of new cases of venereal disease registered at Greenock treatment centre in the last three years are:

1960 231
1961 354
1962 318
Mr. Hughes

Would the hon. Member explain why there has been such a sudden rise in these figures? Does he expect that the position in Greenock will be eased when the new branch clinic at Dunoon is open? [Laughter.] This is not a laughing matter. Are any records being kept, and why cannot the Minister tell me, why does he refuse to tell me, the figures for the Dunoon district?

Mr. Brooman-White

The hon. Member has not asked for the figures of the Dunoon district in this Question. Information about clinics is, for obvious reasons, confidential.

23. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to what extent he is co-operating by means of liaison committees with those in command of the Polaris base at Holy Loch in action to prevent the spread of venereal disease.

Mr. Brooman-White

There are satisfactory working arrangements between the medical officers of the United States Navy and the officers of the local health authority on all matters of common interest and no special liaison committee has been found necessary.

Mr. Hughes

Surely the hon. Gentleman will agree that he cannot call the situation satisfactory in view of the disquieting figures which he has just revealed. Is he aware of the statement by the ex-Provost of Dunoon that prostitutes suffering from venereal disease are attracted by the presence of the sailors to the Polaris base and that this is causing anxiety and disquiet in the district? Does he not think that further inquiries are necessary to deal with a social infection which could be very serious?

Mr. Brooman-White

Local matters can be left to bedealt with adequately through the liaison between the United States authorities and the local health authority. On the general implications of the hon. Member's remarks, even as an ex-soldier I cannot share his dim view of all sailors.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is the Under-secretary aware that the commander of the ship said that this is the cleanest ship in the American Navy? Does not the hon. Gentleman think that something should be done to protect these sailors and also to protect the women? If they cannot keep away the women, can they not keep away the sailors?