Birth Control.

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons. – in the House of Commons at on 30 July 1924.

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Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

31.

asked the Minister of Health if he will consider the desirability of allowing local authorities to impart to people who wish to obtain it information as to birth control methods without penalising such local authorities by withdrawing their maternity and child welfare grants?

Photo of Mr John Wheatley Mr John Wheatley , Glasgow Shettleston

My view is that the institutions provided by local authorities at the cost of public funds should not be used for purposes such as that referred to in the question, which are the subject of controversy, without an express direction from Parliament.

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a very large conference of Labour women passed unanimously a resolution in favour of this course?

Photo of Dorothy Jewson Dorothy Jewson , Norwich

Is the Minister aware that many working-class women attending these welfare centres are unfit to bear children and to bring up healthy children, and the doctors know they are unfit, and yet they are unable to give this information, which any upper or middle-class woman can obtain from a private doctor; and will he consider the bearing of this on the question of abortion, which is so terribly on the increase in this country?

Photo of Mr John Wheatley Mr John Wheatley , Glasgow Shettleston

I submit that these are all suggestions and arguments which might be put to Parliament if it were considering new directions, but it is only my business to carry out the instructions received.