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Thursday, 16 November 1939

In its first report, the Government Committee on Nutrition in the Colonial Empire says that in almost every part of the Colonial

Empire, the income of a very large proportion of the population is a long way below the minimum required for satisfactory nutrition. " This must result, not only in the prevalence of specific-deficiency diseases, but in a great deal of ill-health, lowered resistance to other diseases, and general impairment of well-being and efficiency," it says. " The Governments should lead the way by providing a well-balanced diet for their labourers.

Plight of Natives. "' The health of the Basutos is not what it used to be. Malnutrition can be seen at every village dispensary, school, and recruiting office. "In Bechuanaland the natives are living on the verge of vitamin deficiency, which shows itself in outbreaks of scurvy. " At St. Helena, irregular pulses and subnormal temperatures are usual. Nursing mothers have very little milk and the infants' diet is one of rice, water, and ten. " At Sierra Leone, the natives are subject to many complaints caused by vitamin deficiency."

The committee recommendsa large-scale propaganda campaign among the natives and special efforts to convince officials and large employers that it is of advantage to them to keep the natives well.

That isthe report of a committee set up by the British Government. It reveals clearly that millions of people living within the Empire are forced to submit to conditions of which no people could be proud. The Imperial Government should turn its attention to the well-being of people for whom it is definitely responsible.

The Prime Minister made a few remarks prior to the war which deserve some attention. He did not always hold the view that war was inevitable. I direct attention to the following report which appeared in the Sydney MorningHerald on the 1st July. 1939 : -







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