HC Deb 13 April 1970 vol 799 c1019
32. Mr. St. John-Stevas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the policy of his Department towards the matter of illegitimate children.

Mr. Crossman

As for the rest of the community, the policy is to provide or secure the provision of the appropriate health and social security services.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

In view of the somewhat insensitive remarks which the Secretary of State made in this House on 9th March and which, whether or not he realises it, caused great offence and distress to many thousands of illegitimate citizens, may I ask him to make it clear whether it is the policy of the Government to promote abortions in order to avoid illegitimacy? That is the point.

Mr. Crossman

To the question in that precise form, my answer is, "No", and the answer I gave to the supplementary question gives no basis for concluding what the hon. Gentleman has concluded. As for the question of offence, what the hon. Gentleman has said is a deliberate perversion of what I said in a public speech and is highly discreditable.