HC Deb 26 November 1973 vol 865 cc25-6
45. Sir John Hall

asked the Lord President of the Council if consideration of the recommendations contained in the Ross Committee's report have been concluded ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Prior

I have nothing to add to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire, South-West (Sir Gilbert Longden) on 5th November, when I said that it was the Government's intention to announce their reaction to the Population Panel's report later in the autumn.—[Vol. 863, c. 607.]

Sir John Hall

As it is estimated that over the next 40 years, at a medium rate of growth, the world's population will double and this country's will increase by 22 per cent., if it is not a matter of urgency that the Lane Committee's recommendations should be considered and that, if they are not accepted, the Government should come forward with their own proposals?

Mr. Prior

Without necessarily engaging in argument on my hon. Friend's figures. I should point out that the Government have promised their views on the Population Panel's report very soon. I think that we had better await those views.

Mr. Fell

Is it not a myth that the population is still rising in this country? I understand that there is a net loss at the moment.

Mr. Prior

I think my hon. Friend will find that the population is still rising because the number of women of child-bearing age is still increasing, although the average size of family is declining.

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