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Venereal Diseases

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 20 May 1943

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49.

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the fact that only one man and 27 women have been treated under Regulation 33B, he will now consider the introduction of compulsory notification in order effectively to reduce the incidence of venereal disease?

No, Sir. The numbers mentioned by my hon. Friend relate to persons so far reported from more than one quarter as alleged sources of infection, and the figures are not in themselves a true criterion of the efficacy of the Regulation, which it is already evident is indirectly doing much to help in getting infected persons to undertake voluntary treatment.

In view of the fact that this disease is a great menace to public health, will the right hon. Gentleman say how serious must the incidence of venereal disease become before he will introduce effective measures?

I have promised the House that if, in the light of the working of Regulation 33B, I find it necessary to ask for further powers, I shall not delay taking action, but we ought to have time to see how it is working, because I am sure the House does not want compulsion for compulsion's sake.

Is not the issue of this Regulation merely trifling with what is really a terrible problem?

I would not agree. Those who are administering the Regulation locally in certain difficult places do not take that view.