HC Deb 01 September 1893 vol 16 cc1723-4
MR. MACDONA (South wark, Rotherhithe)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that there are now lying on the wharves at Loudon Bridge over 300 tons of rags imported from cholera-stricken places in Europe, which the rag merchants of London refuse to touch or take from a fear of introducing cholera into our midst; whether, if this be so, the Local Government Board will immediately issue an Order to have these bales of rags shipped back to the ports from whence they came, or have them at once destroyed by burning; and whether, in consideration of the fact of Asiatic cholera having already been imported into Grimsby, the Local Government Board will forthwith rescind the Order of 9th August and prohibit the further introduction of rags?


All possible inquiries have been made by the Local Government Board as to the rags which the hon. Member stated were lying at London Bridge, but no trace of them at all could be found. The hon. Member has, no doubt, put down his question with the assurance that the statements made in it are correct; and, therefore, if the hon. Member will give me privately the information as to where these rags are to be found, the Board will order a full investigation. As to the latter part of the question, I must act on the advice of the competent medical advisers of the Local Government Board, in whom I have perfect confidence. I have also the advice of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board, my hon. Friend the Member for the Ilkeston Division of Derbyshire. The medical experts concurred, and it was on their advice that the Order was issued. That advice has the full approval of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board, and I see no reason to alter the Order.


The matter is of great importance to my constituents, and I shall, on an early occasion, call attention to it.