§ MR. MAGUIRE
said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether the Government have taken, or ordered to be taken, any steps to establish a really practical and effective system of quarantine in Cork Harbour as a precaution against the introduction of Cholera in Emigrant or other vessels entering that port; whether it is intended to send to Cork Harbour an old Man of War or Hulk to be used, in case of necessity, as a floating Hospital, for the reception of patients, emigrants, or others afflicted with that disease; and whether it is not the opinion of the Government that whatever is to be done as a means of precaution should be done immediately, and without a day's delay?
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he quite agreed that what was done as a means of precaution against cholera should be done immediately, and the Government had acted in that spirit; for so long ago as July, 1865, when cholera was reported to be at Alexandria, they thought it right to address a circular to the municipal authorities of all the ports in Great Britain, calling their attention to the necessity of taking precautions against its introduction, and directing then, in anticipation of its appearance, that proper hospital accommodation should he provided for the reception of patients. He did not know what steps had been taken by the municipal authorities in consequence of those warnings, except that at Liverpool there is a hospital specially prepared for the reception of cholera patients. It was very doubtful whe- 437 ther a ship was the best kind of hospital for cholera patients, and whether it would not be much better that provision should be made for them on shore; but the hon. Gentleman was probably aware that for six years a vessel had been stationed in Queenstown Harbour, at an expense to the Emigration Commissioners of £300 a year, which had never been used except on one occasion for a few days. It was, therefore, thought desirable to discontinue it. At present it was impossible for the Admiralty to provide ships for cholera hospitals at all the different ports; but if there was any urgent necessity at Cork, the Admiralty would be prepared, if there was any difficulty in providing the necessary accommodation on shore, to place a ship at the disposal of the municipal authorities as a temporary expedient, those authorities undertaking the general charge and superintendence. In such a case the municipal authorities ought to apply to the Admiralty, stating the circumstances which induced them to think such an arrangement desirable. With regard to quarantine, he could only say that in consequence of information from Liverpool received by telegram, and since confirmed by letter, the Privy Council had met, and were considering the terms of an Order which would give municipal authorities additional powers to deal with ships that might arrive with cholera patients on board.
§ MR. LIDDELL
said, he wished to know whether the expense occasioned by the hospital accommodation provided at the various ports to meet the great danger of cholera would be borne by the municipal authorities, or by Government subsidies?
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he believed that under the present law that expense fell on the local funds administered by the municipal authorities.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he was not at all aware of that fact but the municipal authorities should themselves make their own application to the Admiralty stating all the facts of the case.