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Volume 649: debated on Monday 20 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Health how many cases of leprosy have been notified in this country during the past five years; and how this figure compares with the previous five years.

One hundred and ninety-three in England and Wales from mid-1956 to mid-1961. This was 17 fewer than in the previous five years.

Does not this reduction in the number of cases of leprosy in the past five years make absolute nonsense of the scandalous propaganda adopted by both Fascist and Conservative candidates in the Moss Side by-election, designed to frighten people into supporting the Government's measure to control immigration on the grounds that leprosy was on the increase in this country due to the increase in the number of immigrants?

Order. I do not see how the Minister of Health can be responsible for propaganda.

In order to allay public anxiety on this matter, may I ask the Minister to make sure that a public apology is made by the hon. Member for Manchester, Moss Side (Mr. F. Taylor) to his constituents?