HC Deb 26 February 1895 vol 30 cc1570-1
MR. J. AIRD (Paddington, N.)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if the Government are taking steps to investigate the cause of, and also to suggest remedies for dealing with, the epidemic of influenza?


Inquiries with reference to influenza were instituted by the Local Government Board in 1890–91 and 1892–93. The results of these inquiries are given in two Reports which have been presented to Parliament. These Reports deal with the disease in reference to its history and also statistically, clinically, pathologically, bacteriologically, and administratively as regards measures of prevention. In January, 1892, a Memorandum was issued by the Board as to the precautions advisable at times when epidemic influenza threatens or is prevalent, and the Board see no reason to vary the recommendations which were then made.


May I suggest that the Memorandum should again be suggested not only in the Metropolis, but in those districts where the epidemic prevails?


I will see whether that can be done.

MR. W. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)

Have any steps been taken to disinfect the House of Commons?

At a later stage,

MR. W. R. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)

said: I wish to ask you, Mr. Speaker, a question of which I have given you previous notice. It is whether your attention has been called to the number of Members of this House who are suffering from severe colds and influenza, and whether you will endeavour to arrangements for Members to make to secure their places in this House without leaving their hats upon the seats before prayers, so that Members may avoid subjecting themselves in a hatless condition to the draughts and chills of the Lobby and Corridors?


There are two Standing Orders regulating this question, one which indicates that no Member shall affix his name to a seat before prayers, and the other that if he does secure his seat by being present at prayer time that seat shall be retained during the whole of the Sittings. The hon. Gentleman was kind enough to give me notice of his question calling attention to the inconvenience of hon. Members being obliged to leave their hats in order to secure their seats. I see no objection whatever to Members leaving a particular kind of card, not on the back of the seat, but on the seat itself. That would give a sort of initiatory right to the seat.