Like the Jews, she told the Lords, Indians value education and limit the size of their families, reflecting British mores.
By contrast, she pointed out, immigrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh continue, as is customary in the subcontinent, where traditionally parents have had to depend on their sons to support them in their old age, to have large numbers of children, far more than the British average:
"The minority communities in this country, particularly the Pakistanis and the Bangladeshis have a very large number of children and the attraction is the large number of benefits that follow the child.
Nobody likes to accept that, nobody likes to talk about it because it is supposed to be very politically incorrect.
Indians have fallen into the pattern here. They do not have large families because they are like the Jews of old. They want their children to be educated.This is the other problem - there is no emphasis on education in the Pakistani and Bangladeshi families.
I really feel that for the first two children there should be a full raft of benefits, for the third child three-quarters and for the fourth child a half."
The baroness, who added that immigrant families must stop having lots of children "as a means of improving the amount of money they receive or getting a bigger house," has certainly highlighted a factor in the notable underachievement at school of British children of Pakistani and Bangladeshi background, as well as (though she did not mention this) a demographic reality that worries large numbers of people in the UK - not only owing to fears of an erosion of British culture and creeping islamification, but of the deleterious impact on the environment of a small and overcrowded island that population explosion is having. (Where, now, is that 1960s and 1970s slogan that was used to browbeat British couples into having a maximum of two children each - "Zero Population Growth"?)
But Baroness Flather's reasoned and reasonable remarks were met that "political correctness" that she cited. Thus, in his summing up in the debate, welfare reform minister Lord Freud pointedly ignored her contributions, and Lord McKenzie, the Opposition work and pensions spokesman, complained: "I had not expected the treatise on the family sizes of the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities and hope I don't again."