HC Deb 09 March 1876 vol 227 cc1715-6

asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether his attention has been called to the following statement in the "Times" of March the 7th: that The bark 'William Wilson,' bound for Liver-pool, arrived on the 6th March in Penarth Roads with eight of her crow down with scurvy. The captain and three officers only were able to work the vessel. The men state that they have been ill for the last two months, and that during the last three days the lime-juice and provisions were exhausted. They were landed and taken to the hospital ship. They are very much emaciated, and the recovery of some of them appears doubtful; what steps he proposes to take with regard to this matter; whether his attention has been drawn to the occurrence of scurvy on board the "Talisman," lately arrived in London; also to arrival in Liverpool of the "Black Prince" and "Duke of Northumberland" with scurvy on board, and to the arrival at San Francisco of several British ships with scurvy on board; and, whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to make any new provisions for the prevention of scurvy in the Mercantile Marine?


The Board of Trade has received a Report from the Receiver of Wreck at Cardiff that the William Wilson, of Whitehaven, has put into that port with six severe cases of scurvy on board, and that the provisions and lime-juice were exhausted when the vessel arrived. The medical officer was instructed to proceed at once to Cardiff to hold an inquiry, and report. Another medical officer, Dr. La Trobe, is at present holding an inquiry into the case of the Talisman. In the case of the Black Prince, an inquiry was held. The Medical Inspector, Dr. Spooner, reported that the causes were dirty habits of the crew, bad water taken in at Bassein, and the use of cook's slush by the men. He also observed that scurvy increased where teetotalism was practised, and recommended a ration of spirits in such cases. The Duke of Northumberland, of Swansea, arrived at Liverpool with one case of scurvy, and no complaint was made; therefore, no inquiry. No new provisions for preventing scurvy have occurred to Her Majesty's Government. The penalties on shipowners for any default of precautions are ample. The provisions of the Act of 1867 have greatly reduced scurvy.