Birth Certificates

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Health – in the House of Commons on 20th April 1944.

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Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

asked the Minister of Health whether, in connection with the issue of official birth certificates, he has now given further consideration to the possibility of issuing a simple certificate merely stating the date of birth of the applicant, without any additional information as to legitimacy or illegitimacy, such certificate to be issued to applicants in consideration of a nominal payment; and whether action will be taken on the lines suggested.

Photo of Mr Henry Willink Mr Henry Willink , Croydon North

I have nothing to add to the answers I gave to my hon. Friend on 27th January and to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Hands-worth (Commander Locker-Lampson) on 17th February.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Has the Minister ever had the pleasure of awarding a scholarship to a girl of 18 to enable her to go to a university, and of seeing her blush scarlet when she was asked to produce her birth certificate to confirm her age because it would disclose that she was illegitimate? Why should these young people be subjected to this unnecessary humiliation?

Photo of Mr Henry Willink Mr Henry Willink , Croydon North

No, Sir, I have never had such an opportunity, but I have twice already expressed my sympathy on this matter and I have twice said that there should be a full opportunity for discussion. I have also said that the matter is one requiring legislation.

Photo of Captain Leonard Plugge Captain Leonard Plugge , Rochester Chatham

Does the Minister consider it right that a citizen should be compelled to divulge facts about himself which are not really required and have not been asked for?

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Is it not a fact that legislation would not be required in order to put this matter right in the way I suggest, and that there would be no difficulty whatever in sending an extract from the birth certificate to show the date of birth?

Photo of Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson Mr Oliver Locker-Lampson , Birmingham Handsworth

Will the Minister receive a deputation on the matter, and undertake not to say "No," in advance?

Photo of Mr Henry Willink Mr Henry Willink , Croydon North

I have twice said that I am willing to receive a deputation.