asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the death-rate from syphilis for 1933 was higher than for 1924, and the total number of reported new cases of venereal disease higher in 1933 than in 1925 or in 1932; and whether he will now consider the need for legislation to require compulsory notification and segregation of cases of these infectious and disabling diseases on lines similar to those in force under the Infectious Disease (Notification) Extension Act, 1899?
With regard to the first part of the question, the crude death-rate from syphilis per million persons living was the same in 1933 as in 1924, but the standardised rates show a decline. The numbers of new cases attending the treatment centres provided for venereal diseases show an increase over the years mentioned for all forms of venereal disease, but a decline for syphilis. These figures, however, do not necessarily reflect the actual incidence of the disease. With regard to the second part, I see no reason for disagreeing with the Committee of Inquiry of 1923, which came to the conclusion that compulsory measures on the lines suggested were not desirable in the case of these diseases.