§ Sir JOHN JARDINE
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he has received any reports regarding the mortality among infants at Thorpe, in the Chertsey Division of Surrey; if he can state the percentage of deaths and the nature of the causes; and whether anything is being done to provide better household accommodation at the recommendation of the Board?
§ Mr. BURNS
I have seen newspaper reports on the subject, in which the infant mortality at Thorpe is stated to have been 235 per 1,000 in 1908. A percentage figure is not a very reliable guide in such a case, as I find the number of infants' deaths in that year was but four. Of these one was that of an illegitimate child who died within three days of birth, another was ascribed to heart failure and occurred within fourteen days, the two remaining deaths were of twins who survived birth only three or four days. Three at least of these deaths are attributed by the medical officer of health to antenatal causes in no way connected with the environment. I understand that the average infant mortality of the parish for the years 1899 to 1909 was 68 per 1,000, not a very high figure. One of my inspectors has recently held an inquiry under the Housing Acts at Thorpe, and I am glad to say that the Chertsey Rural District Council have promised to lay definite proposals before the Board for the provision of further housing accommodation in that parish.