Mid-wives alone were present at 2,284 domiciliary births. Thirty-two of the mothers had trilene analgesia, 1,648 had gas and air and 1,541—including some who also had gas and air—pethidine.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the figures for 1950, which in that year we considered deplorable, showed a total of 2,161 mothers having analgesia at the birth of their children? If we are to avoid overcrowding of hospital beds for confinements, should not the hon. Gentleman be trying to persuade his right hon. Friend to advocate more births at home, particularly where the homes are good, comfortable and safe, and so reserve the beds for the more urgent cases?