HC Deb 16 July 1877 vol 235 c1321

asked the President of the Local Government Board, If he will state to the House the present condition of the Metropolis with respect to small pox; and, whether any and what measures are being taken or fostered by him to prevent or check the prevalence of the disease in the future?


Sir, according to the latest accounts there are 621 inmates of the five metropolitan hospitals. This number as compared with numbers ranging from 850 to 950 during April and May, must be considered comparatively satisfactory. There is also spare accommodation for 483 cases now available for the pauper and poorer classes of patients, so that there are means for the treatment of all who might require to be brought under care in the metropolis. It may be said, generally, that the epidemic is abating, and that the increased amount of accommodation available, together with increased activity in effecting removals and greater attention to vaccination, has enabled the authorities to hold the disease in better check than was the case when the last epidemic prevailed. Some of the Vestries have provided accommodation, and some Vestries and Boards of Guardians have taken steps by house-to-house visitation to insure greater attention to the practice of vaccination. Although, as I have said, the epidemic appears to be subsiding, it is not yet at an end. I shall, however, take care to have its history investigated and the experience of the last 12 months collected and put into shape, with the view of considering whether further legislation is required. Meanwhile, as the House is aware, I have caused several clauses, which I think may be useful, to be inserted in the Public Health (Metropolis) Bill.