Venereal Disease

Oral Answers to Questions — Ireland. – in the House of Commons on 1st March 1922.

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Photo of Mr Gershom Stewart Mr Gershom Stewart , Wirral

62.

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the details of the ravages in certain families wholly caused by venereal disease; whether any steps, other than voluntary clinics, are being taken by the Government to combat these ailments, which disastrously affect so many innocent victims and add so much to the burdens of the taxpayers and ratepayers in maintaining throughout their lives so many citizens who from ill health are incapable of doing any proper work; and whether he will consider the advisability of making such diseases notifiable so that they can be dealt with more effectually in their initial stages?

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. The steps taken by the Government to combat these diseases are based upon the recommendations of the Royal Commission, and include not only the provision of clinics at which skilled treatment is provided free of cost, but also an organised campaign of education and publicity as to the dangers of these diseases and the necessity for early treatment. I am not prepared, as at present advised, to suggest legislation for compulsory notification.

Photo of Mr Gershom Stewart Mr Gershom Stewart , Wirral

Has the right hon. Gentleman seen the letter in the "Times" of the 23rd instant on this subject, and has he noticed the statement of the Secretary of State for the Colonies yesterday; and will he not make a bold effort to tackle this question?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

That does not arise.