asked the Minister of Health in how many cases he has refused applications from non-county boroughs for orders authorising the borough council to become the local supervising authority under the Midwives Acts, 1902–26, and how many such applications were supported by the county council; how many applications have been granted; what are the considerations that weigh with him in dealing with such applications; and whether he proposes to adhere to his promise that he would give sympathetic consideration to applications from the smaller local authorities to supervise midwifery in their areas?
§ Sir K. WOOD
Since the passing of the Local Government Act, 1929, applications of this kind have been submitted to my Department by the councils of 69 non-county boroughs. Forty-one have been refused, of which six were supported by the county council concerned, and 28 have been granted. In dealing with these applications, the most important factor to which I have given consideration since the Midwives Act, 1936, came into operation is the number of whole-time midwives required for domiciliary midwifery in the non-county borough concerned. I can assure my right hon. and gallant Friend that the promise I made during the passage of the Midwives Bill will be adhered to, and that these applications will be granted wherever the circumstances justify the setting up of a new local supervising authority.