§ Mr. Llewellyn
asked the Minister of Health why the death rate among babies in their first week of life is higher in Wales than in any part of England; to what extent this points to deficiencies in 77W pre-natal facilities in Wales; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. R. Thompson
The average death rate in infants under one week of age in Wales in 1958 (15.6 per thousand live births) was higher than the average rate in England (13.7). This is because of the relatively high rate in industrial South Wales, which has the majority of the population. The South Wales rates are, however, comparable with those in certain industrial areas in the North of England. The death rate in Wales has in the last ten years fallen more rapidly than in England, and it will be my right hon. and learned Friend's constant endeavour to secure continued improvements in the maternity and child welfare services there, as indeed in England too.