HC Deb 05 August 1943 vol 391 c2498W
Mr. Thorne

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Warfare whether he can give any information about the health of men, women and children, in the various parts of Belgium, Antwerp in particular; and how many people are suffering from tuberculosis owing to lack of food?

Mr. Foot

The conditions which have prevailed in Belgium since the German occupation have inevitably caused a deterioration in the health and fitness, especially of the poorer classes both in Antwerp and in other cities and towns. The worst period was in 1941 when there was a marked increase in tuberculosis infant mortality and rickets, but my information is that the incidence of these diseases declined in 1942, largely as the result of better food distribution. I do not know how many people are suffering from tuberculosis but, as my hon. Friend is no doubt aware, malnutrition is only one of the causes of this disease.