3 DECEMBER 1937, Page 3

Sir Kingsley Wood has the reputation of being the most

uniformly successful of Ministers. But he blotted his copy- book on Monday. His article in the Beaverbrook Press which was published on the morning of the debate, and which contained an 'extremely one-sided description of the Bill, was a surprising error of judgement. However, worse was to follow. In moving the Second Reading he conveyed the impression to the House that the practice already observed i n Australia and New Zealand furnished a precedent for his propoSals. To this Mr. Herbert, who had spent the morning ringing up the Agents-General of all the States of Australia and the High Commissioner for New Zealand, gave the lie direct. He did not suggest that the Minister would consciously mislead the House, but he did suggest that he had been misled. Mr. Herbert thought that this was a serious matter, and most people agreed with him. In any case, the example of the Dominions and of foreign countries left the House cold. It may be true that other Governments have been more active than our own in amassing vital statistics. But where, as Mr. Griffith per- tinently inquired, do we go from there ? What is the value of the comparison unless it can be shown that the statistics' thus acquired have been of some use in devising measures to check the fall in the birth-rate ?

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