§ SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, how many local authorities have adopted the Notification of Diseases Act; how many of these authorities there are who are capable of adopting the Act; and, whether he has considered the advisability of making the Act compulsory instead of permissive?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. HENRY CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
The Infectious Disease Notification Act, 1889, has been adopted in 814 urban districts, 585 rural districts, and 38 port districts. Compulsory notification is also in force throughout London under the Public Health (London) Act, 1891, and in 49 towns under provisions in Local Acts. The population, according to the last census, of the districts in which notification is compulsory, is 27,220,000, out of a total population of 29,000,000. The question as to the advisability of making the Act of 1889 compulsory has been considered by me, but I think that the Act is much more likely to be enforced when it is voluntarily adopted by a local authority than when it is made applicable to a district without the concurrence of the authority. There are now 202 urban and 94 rural districts, including districts which have recently been constituted, in which the Act is not yet 908 in operation. I am proposing to communicate with the authorities of these districts, and I hope that the number of districts in which the Act is not in force will be considerably diminished in the course of the present year.