HC Deb 03 July 1925 vol 185 c2951W
Colonel DAY

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is aware of the increasing practice in Bombay of women employed in cotton factories administering opium to their babies before proceeding to their work and that, as a result, the infant death rate in Bombay is approximately two in three; and will he make representations to those concerned suggesting that opium be made less accessible?


I am aware of the practice, but not that it is increasing. The average annual figures of infant mortality from all causes for the three years from 1922 to 1924 was 411 per 1,000, as compared with 624 in the previous three years. As regards the last part of the question, the Government of India have addressed inquiries to all local governments as to the extent of the practice referred to and the question of taking measures specially designed to check it; my Noble Friend proposes to await the results of these inquiries.