HC Deb 28 February 1878 vol 238 cc450-1

asked the Secretary of State for War, Whether his attention has been called to the Report of a Commission appointed by the "Lancet" to inquire into the risks attending the manufacture of Clothing supplied to the Army; and, whether it is not urgent to take other and more effective measures than those at present adopted to detect and prevent the contamination of uniforms, &c, made for the British troops by workpeople who are in contact, or live, with persons suffering from scarlet fever, small pox, or other infectious diseases?


, in reply, said, on becoming acquainted with the article in The Lancet, his noble Friend the Surveyor General of Ordnance (Lord Eustace Cecil) inquired into the subject previous to the Question being placed upon the Paper. He was bound to say that there appeared to be no apprehension of danger from this cause. Great care was taken, so far as he could ascertain, that in any case where there were infectious diseases in the houses occupied by the workpeople, the clothes were discontinued from being made at those houses; and perhaps when he stated the results it would be seen that there was no great apprehension of danger. During the whole time that these stores had been deposited at Pimlico, among those employed in viewing, packing, and manipulating the clothing, there had only been one case, and that five years ago, of small-pox. In that case the man admitted that he came from a neighbourhood in which the disease was raging. Every care, therefore, appeared to be taken at present; but the medical men had instructions to use every exertion to prevent contact with infected persons.