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Thursday, 16 November 1939

A special investigation of State school children in an industrial area during 1937-38 showed that the incidence of malnutrition was 1.8 per cent., which was slightly higher than the average of the total examinedby the school medical service in 1936, which was . 67 per cent.

A considerable proportion of the population in the area in which the investigation was made had been unemployed for a number of years.

The Minister for Education, Mr. Drummond, in his annual report, which was presented to Parliament yesterday, said that all the children were carefully weighed and examined, special attention being given to the state of their nutrition. The percentage of suspected cases of malnutrition was 3.4.

ChildrenofUnemployed. " The children of unemployed, and other parents, whose economic circumstances were unfavorable for various reasons," he added, " showed a definitely higher incidence of notifiable cases of malnutrition, varying from 3 per cent. to 8 per cent. of the suspected cases of malnutrition, and up to 10 per cent. " It was noted also that the groups with a lowered rate of consumption of milk had a higher incidence of malnutrition. " This relationship, however, cannot be explained simply in terms of cause and effect, as one had to take into consideration the fact that the total food supply of these groups, apart from the milk supply, would bo less satisfactory than the employed groups in general."

That report deals with the conditions of women and children in Australia, so we have no need to go to Poland or Czechoslovakia or any other country to experience the results of attacks made upon women and children. These statements relate to our own home land.

I shall now refer to a matter which would have been of interest to the Minister for the Navy (Sir Frederick Stewart) had he been present. Some years ago he interested himself in the provision of a home at a seaside resort in New South Wales for the benefit of women and children suffering from malnutrition. It was called Stewart House. The report reads as follows: -

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