§ Mr. William Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Social Servicee whether he will introduce legislation to make unlawful the practice known as female circumcision.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
I fully share the abhorrence of this practice which has been expressed by a number of representatives of the medical profession. The report which appeared inThe Observer newspaper on 10 October 1982 referred to female circumcisions being carried out by doctors working in private clinics in London. Unethical practices by doctors are a matter for the General Medical Council to consider, and we have written asking the council what action, if any, it proposes to take over these allegations. We shall consider urgently in the light of its reply whether any additional steps are needed.