HC Deb 24 June 1924 vol 175 cc257-8W

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the latest report of the medical officer for the Milnrow district, in which it is stated that the death rate was 21.5 or 7.3 higher than in 1921, that infantile mortality was at the rate of 190 per 1,000 births, that the smoke nuisance was very bad, and that a more rapid conversion of the sanitary system of water carriage was required; whether he is aware that the local authority have done nothing in the way of providing working-class houses, that there is no child-welfare centre and no district nurse, and that the sanitary inspector has to give most of his time to collecting rates, collecting rents of council houses, and collecting electricity accounts; and whether, in view of the conditions revealed in the report, he will make representations to the local authorities in question as to the need for active measures in the interests of the health and well-being of the people in the district?


attention has been drawn to the report referred to. The district was inspected by one of the medical officers of my Department towards the end of 1922 and representations were made to the council with regard to certain matters arising out of his report. As regards smoke abatement, a special visit was made by one of my engineering inspectors in May, 1923, with the object of advising the council. I am awaiting the report of the medical officer of health for 1923, and if it reveals no evidence of improved conditions, I propose to arrange for an inquiry to be held into the sanitary administration of the district. The county council is the authority responsible for maternity and child welfare work in the area, and a report on the county scheme by one of my medical officers is in preparation on which action can be considered. I may add that 54 houses were erected by the local authority under the State-assisted scheme authorised by the Housing, Town Planning, Etc., Act, 1919, and that the council have adopted a scheme for the assistance of private builders under the Housing, Etc., Act, 1923.