HC Deb 09 April 1877 vol 233 cc764-5

asked the President of the Local Government Board, If his attention has been called to the report of Dr. Thorne Thorne, which appeared on the 17th ultimo in "The Hampshire Telegraph" and "Sussex Chronicle" in respect to the sanitary condition of Portsmouth, and more especially to the two following cases, viz.:— In the overcrowded house of a tailor and dealer in second-hand clothing, a child was attacked with scarlet fever. Isolation was impossible, and a second child was attacked, one case terminating fatally. At the house of another tailor, where several cases occurred, I ascertained that at the date of the outbreak the mother divided her time between nursing her sick children and the manufacture of articles of clothing; and, whether, considering the representations that have already been made to the Government in respect to cases of this kind, it will order an inquiry to be made into the danger that exists for the spread of contagious diseases by allowing tailors to manufacture clothing in their private dwellings?


in reply, said, his attention had been called to the Report of Dr. Thorne, which was a very important and interesting one, as to the sanitary condition of Portsmouth. The gist of that report was, not that there had been any actual spread of scarlet fever in Portsmouth in consequence of the practice of tailors making clothes in their own homes, but was to the effect that the authorities ought to provide further accommodation, with a view to the isolation of the disease in its early stages. The Report, which was dated January last, had been referred by him to the authorities of Portsmouth, and they had replied that they were taking steps to provide proper hospital accommodation for such isolation. The two cases of the tailors to which the hon. Member had referred were specially alluded to by Dr. Thorne, who might have gone further and given other cases. He had been in communication with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on the subject, and he was not aware that at this moment there was anything which would show the necessity for taking further steps with respect to strengthening the provisions of the Public Health Act in connection with the matter.