HC Deb 16 March 1886 vol 303 c969
MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)

asked the Secretary for Scotland, Whether his attention has been called to the following statement in The Aberdeen Free Press:A somewhat serious outbreak of small-pox has occurred at Woodside. In the course of a week three women have been attacked with the disease, and are now in the Woodside Epidemic Hospital. The patients were employed in the rag department of Woodside Works, and it is believed that the outbreak is attributable to the infection contained in a particular bale of rags….. It is about two years since there was an outbreak of small-pox at Woodside; whether two more cases have occurred since; and, what steps he proposes to take to protect the people of Woodside from the dangers of infection from imported rags?


Three cases of small-pox have been reported to the Board of Supervision as having occurred at Woodside. The Messrs. Pirie, who employ 2,000 workpeople, report to the Chief Inspector of Factories that they have had three cases in their works. These patients have been working on various qualities of rags drawn from different sources. A previous attack of small-pox in April, 1885, is not shown to have originated in Messrs. Pirie's works. The medical officer of the Board of Supervision reports that the suspected rags came from England and Scotland, and not from the Continent. I have recently approved of an Order issued by the Board of Supervision prohibiting the importation of rags from Spain for some months, and have received various recommendations as to the necessity of further legislation, which will have my careful consideration.