§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
asked the Minister of Health if he will ask selected local authorities in depressed areas for a return of up-to-date and comparative statistics relating to infantile mortality rates in order to see whether those rates are adversely affected by the continued depression in those areas; and, if so, will he then publish the figures giving the general infantile mortality rates in the same statement?
Such figures relating to infant mortality rates during the present year in the depressed areas as I have seen appear to indicate some improvement over the preceding years, but I am advised that any statistics applying only to a portion of the year must be taken as provisional only, and would not necessarily reflect the true average infant mortality for the year as a whole. I do not, therefore, consider that any useful purpose would be served by the publication of figures until statistics are available for the whole year. The statistics for previous years in these areas and for the country as a whole have already been published by the Registrar-General.