HC Deb 18 March 1879 vol 244 cc1157-8

asked the Vice President of the Council, If a Swedish vessel that arrived in the River Tyne on Saturday last from Libau with a cargo of rags, has been, by instructions from the Privy Council, ordered to undergo quarantine; and, if he is aware that the vessel left Libau in January last with a clean bill of health; that she has been stopped in the Baltic by ice over a month; that she has also clean bills of health from two Danish ports at which she called; and that there is no trace of disease or sickness amongst the crew?


Notice was received at the Privy Council Office on Saturday that the Prima, a small Swedish vessel, laden with a cargo of rags from Russia, had been repelled from a Swedish port "on account of the dangerous nature of the cargo in respect to the propagation of the pest," and was, therefore, proceeding to an English port. Setting aside the possible risk of admitting such a cargo, which is absolutely prohibited by the other European nations, it is evident that if we were to allow free pratique to a vessel under such circumstances, foreign Governments would be likely, in order to carry out their own regulations, to levy quarantine against English vessels, at a loss to our trade which would be intolerable. The Lords of the Council, therefore, acting under the powers conferred on them by the Quarantine Act, have detained the vessel until the cargo and all on board have been fumigated and disinfected. There has been no sickness on board the Prima; but the danger, if any, arises from the cargo, and not from the persons on board. An Order of Council has been passed authorizing the release of the vessel as soon as she has been disinfected.