HC Deb 04 July 1832 vol 14 cc74-5
Mr. James E. Gordon

presented a petition from a Parish in the county of Tyrone, against the Ministerial Plan of Irish Education. He took that opportunity of inquiring, whether his Majesty's Government intended to take any preventive measures relative to the dangerous spreading of the Cholera: according to recent accounts in the metropolis, already, amongst others, the father of that House, Lord Amesbury, had fallen a victim to it ["No, no" from some Members]; and he heard, that so prevalent was it, that one eminent medical gentleman had attended, in one day, not less than forty patients, attacked by cholera.

Mr. Lamb

said, he saw no necessity to revive the reports which had formerly emanated from the Council Office, as to the number of cholera cases returned to that office. This disease, though it had decreased, had never, except for two or three days, totally disappeared in the metropolis. There was a strong suspicion entertained by himself, and others better acquainted with the malady, that it was of a kind which would be likely, under peculiar circumstances, to return at ail periods. He could assure the hon. Gentleman, that the reports circulated as to the number of cases which had occurred in the metropolis were much exaggerated, and that few or none had terminated in death, owing, he believed, to the attention paid to the disease by the faculty, immediately on its first symptoms becoming manifest. There was not, he was happy to say, a single case of cholera reported to-day.

Mr. Hunt

said, that it was making its ravages in Horsemonger-Iane gaol at this moment, where there had not been less than nineteen cases of real cholera. This might be, in part, attributed to the strict manner in which the prisoners there, debtors as well as criminal prisoners, were confined, and interdicted indulgence by the Surrey Magistrates, both in respect to air, ventilation, and the visits of their friends and acquaintance; but it might, with greater propriety, be traced—and he had the corroborative testimony of the prison Doctor on this head, to the shamefully adulterated bread which was served to the prisoners.—[The hon. Member handed over a piece of it to Lord Althorp]—It was, he said, even when fresher than now, sour, and seemed to be, in fact, composed of ground bones—a very improper practice, all would agree, since that must be a very inadequate substitute for wholesome flour, which was to be cheaply had from warehouses where American corn was hoarded up to rot, in consequence of the iniquitous duty on this essential article of food, to prevent its coming into competition in the market with British-grown grain.

Mr. Lamb

expressed his regret that the hon. Member had not refrained from making these statements until some of the visiting Magistrates, Members of that House, had been present. He believed it was difficult generally to get really good bread any where—perhaps more so within the walls of a prison. Those Gentlemen, if present, could have given more satisfactory information than he; but this he knew, that the cases of indisposition which had occurred there had been treated with attention by the medical person attached to the gaol; that, in consequence of complaints made to his department, the food had been provided of a better quality, and the whole state of the gaol much improved. There was no ground, he would state in reply to a question from the hon. Gentleman Mr. H. L. Bulwer), for the report that the cholera had appeared in Coldbath-fields' prison, the condition of which was perfectly satisfactory in that and other respects.

Petition laid on the Table.

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