HC Deb 11 March 1886 vol 303 cc435-6
SIR HENRY ROSCOE (Manchester, S.)

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether, in view of the success said to have attended Pasteur's treatment for hydrophobia by inoculation, he will consider the propriety of appointing a Committee, consisting of about six persons eminent in medicine and science, who shall be instructed to communicate with M. Vulpian and the other members of the Committee of the French Academy of Sciences as to the exact position of the question; whether, in the event of such an inquiry seeming to them to be satisfactory, he would authorise this Committee to obtain the best investigation this Country affords as to the reliability of Pasteur's method, and to advise as to its applicability to this Country; whether the Government would provide such Committee with funds for the necessary investigations, the Committee itself being unpaid; and, whether he would inquire if such investigations might be carried out in the Brown Institution, under the guidance of the Committee, and with the co-operation of the chief medical officer and of the officials of the Brown Institution?


Sir, my attention has been called to the reported discovery by M. Pasteur of a cure for hydrophobia. The recognized eminence of M. Pasteur as a scientific investigator, and the great interest and importance which attach to the subject of his recent inquiries, seem to me to justify a careful and impartial examination of the results obtained. At present, the information on the matter in the possession of my Department is too vague and incomplete to afford materials for a full appreciation of M. Pasteur's process. I will consider how such an inquiry can be most satisfactorily conducted; and I will confer with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the question of the expense. I shall be glad to communicate privately with my hon. Friend, and hope to be able to arrange for such an investigation as may enable a just estimate to be formed as to the reliability of M. Pasteur's method, and its applicability to this country.

DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman would have any objection to place himself in communication with the Foreign Office, with a view of obtaining from them copies of any official statements which had been made upon the subject?


I will endeavour to obtain the assistance of the Foreign Office, in order that we may place at the disposal of the Committee which may be appointed all the information in our power.