19 MAY 1917, Page 16

A Supplement to the Forty-fifth Annual Report of the Local

Government Board, 1915-16, contains a Report on Child Mortality by Sir Arthur Newaholme, Medical Officer of the Board (H.M. Stationery Office-, Is. net). This is the fourth Report written by him, and it summarizes the experience of England and Wales during four recent years. The Report deals with child mortality at ages 0-5, and shows that in the period covered 575,078 deaths occurred under the age of five, or more than a quarter of all the deaths at all ages. Detailed comparisons of districts and towns show that child mortality is most excessive in the centres in which the chief industries of the country are carried on, though the association is subsequently shown not to be inevitable. " In every area, how- ever," says Sir Arthur Newshohne, " a very high proportion of the total present mortality can be obviated ; and it is well within the range of administrative action to reduce child mortality within the next few years to one-half of its present amount." He proceeds to analyse the various causes of excessive child mortality, chief among them being maternal ignorance, lack of medical care and nursing, fecklessness of mothers, intemperance, poverty, housing, and the industrial occupation of women. He concludes by various suggestions for practical action by Local Authorities, laying special stress upon the need for greater facilities for medical attendance and nursing.