asked the Minister of Health in how many cases children of serving soldiers have been placed in public institutions owing to the fact that the mothers through ill-health are not able to look after them without their husbands' help; and whether he will consider making other arrangements for children suddenly taken from the amenities of home life?
I have no figures relating to the number of children of serving soldiers who have been placed in public institutions in the circumstances indicated. Children under five of men in any of the Armed Forces are received on application through the local representative of the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen's Families Association into the residential nurseries established under the Government evacuation scheme, if the mother dies, is killed, or is found to require care for three months or more in hospital and there is no one to care for the child. This applies to children living in neutral and reception areas as well as evacuation areas. For the assistance of mothers with young children during periods, of illness or confinement, welfare authorities have recently been asked to provide home helps or to augment existing schemes. This work is recommended to older women by the officers of my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service, but more volunteers are urgently needed for this important branch of national service.