HC Deb 09 August 1888 vol 330 cc83-6
MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether his attention has been called to the outbreak of small-pox in St. Joseph's Certified Industrial School, Manchester; whether it is a fact that three sisters, five attendants, and 58 children have been attacked by small-pox, and have been removed from the school to the Monsall Hospital for Infectious Diseases; whether the outbreak has been traced to a child named Conley, committed to this school from York on July 6 last, while suffering from small-pox; whether the child Conley is 12 years of age, and is certified to have been vaccinated; and, whether he can inform the House what are the Regulations at St. Joseph's Industrial School as to the vaccination of the sisters, attendants, and children placed in the school; what are the numbers of the vaccinated and unvaccinated respectively among the 66 small-pox patients removed from the school to the hospital; what is the number of the pupils who have not been attacked by small-pox; and whether any of the pupils who have escaped are unvaccinated? In asking this question, I wish also to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman can state if there have been any fresh cases of small-pox at the school; and also, seeing that the child who is alleged to have brought small-pox to the school was certified by a medical man at York to be at that time free from cutaneous disorder, whether the right hon. Gentleman or the Home Secretary can take steps to make him responsible.

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

It is quite impossible for me to answer the Question which the hon. Gentleman has just addressed to me without Notice. The Local Government Board are going to inquire into the whole of the circumstances of the case. In answer to the hon. Gentleman's other Question, I have to say that the Mayor of Manchester has furnished me with information as to the outbreak of small-pox in St. Joseph's Certified Industrial School, Manchester. It is the case that three sisters, five attendants, and 58 children have been attacked by small-pox, or by symptoms suspected as being premonitory of small-pox. All the cases, including some who have no eruption, have been removed from the school to the Monsall Hospital. The Lady Superintendent of the school states that the Rule is that every girl is vaccinated before she enters the school, and that a certificate of having had cow-pox or small-pox is sent with her. It is also the Rule that every sister is vaccinated before entering on her duties. No certificates are required with the attendants. Dr. Oldham, of Monsall Hospital, has reported as regards the vaccination of 67 of the number removed to the hospital. Of this number he returns seven as not vaccinated and 60 as vaccinated. On August 5 he informed the Board that seven of the cases were in unvaccinated persons, of whom one had died; that nine cases of various degrees of severity were in vaccinated persons; and that the remaining 51 (vaccinated) cases—that is to say, four-fifths of the entire number—have either not had small-pox, as in some few instances, or else have suffered from nothing more than subjective symptoms followed by the appearance of from one to 12 spots. Two re-vaccinated persons, and only two, were sent to Monsall Hospital; but neither of these had any small-pox eruption. The facts of the outbreak, especially as to its origin, are in many respects obscure. The disease is supposed to have been introduced by a girl admitted on July 6; but this girl was certified on July 3 to be free from cutaneous disorder, and does not appear to have been kept in bed after her admission, or, indeed, to have been regarded as in any way out of health. The number of children who have not been attacked by small-pox is 88. These are certified to have been vaccinated. The Board have directed a fuller inquiry by one of their Medical Inspectors.


asked, whether from the numbers at school it did not appear that very nearly 40 per cent of the pupils at the school referred to have taken small-pox from the introduction of this case?


No doubt the case has had a very serious effect; but I am not quite sure of the proportion of pupils that have been affected.

MR. COBB (Warwick, S.E., Rugby)

said, the right hon. Gentleman had not stated whether the child that introduced the disease had been vaccinated or not.


I have given the hon. Member all the information I have. As I have already stated, we are going to make a full inquiry.

MR. PICTON (Leicester)

asked, if the right hon. Gentleman would inquire how far the Rule requiring vaccination previous to admission had been carried out?


Every circumstance in connection with this outbreak, which is of a very lamentable character, will be inquired into.


asked the right hon. Gentleman if his attention had been called to the Report of the Sanitary Committee of the Manchester Town Council, in which it was stated that— The child, when admitted on July 6, admits to having had at the time some spots on her arms and legs, and on Friday, July 27, when examined, the scales from recent small-pox were still found to be on arms and legs.


No; I have not seen that statement.