HC Deb 30 June 1891 vol 354 cc1865-6
MR. NORRIS (Tower Hamlets, Limehouse)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether the statements made by Miss Mason, the Inspector of boarded-out children, contained on page 203 of the Nineteenth Annual Report of the Local Government Board, as to the existence of purpura among boarded-out children, have been submitted to and endorsed by medical or surgical authority before publication by the Board; if he is aware that the British Medical Journal of May last and leading physicians and surgeons entirely differ from the diagnosis as given by Miss Mason, who attributes the existence of purpura to ill-treatment, neglect, and insufficient or improper food; and whether the Board will take measures to ascertain the opinion of leading members of the medical profession as to their symptoms and causes of purpura, and cause the same to be inserted in their next Report for the guidance of Boarding-out Committees who are responsible for the proper treatment of the children?


My answer to the first question is, No. I am aware of the article which appeared in the British Medical Journal in May last. I find that in that article it is stated that improper feeding would unquestionably be one of the main factors in the causation of purpura. It is suggested, however, in the article that the Inspector's diagnostic differential points between purpura and flea-bites may have sometimes played her false. At the same time, I may observe that Dr. Liveing, the consulting physician of the skin department of the Middlesex Hospital, states that he thinks Miss Mason's conclusions are probably correct, and that while purpura is rare in a severe form, in a mild form it is not uncommon in poor, badly-fed children. I have also received communications containing medical opinions upon the subject of purpura opposed to the statements in the Report, and these have been brought under the attention of the Inspector. As regards the third question, I cannot say I think that the course suggested is necessary.