HC Deb 14 May 1896 vol 40 cc1329-30
MR. W. K. CARLILE (Bucks, N.)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether, as an outbreak of 15 cases of small-pox in and around High Wycombe has been traced to rags imported from Gloucester, any, and, if so, what action can be brought to bear upon the owners of paper mills to cause all rags to be disinfected before being cut up by the women employed; and, when the Report of the Royal Commission will be issued?


I am informed that the outbreak of small-pox in question has been traced by the local medical officer of health to rags imported from Gloucester. Under the Public Health Act, 1875, the transmission, without previous disinfection, of rags that have been exposed to infection is for bidden, under penalty, and the local authority have also power to direct the destruction of any articles that have been so exposed, and to pay compensation. The necessity of these provisions being carried out is being pressed on the Corporation of Gloucester. At the same time, I would call attention to the fact that rag sorters, to whom, among paper mill operatives, the danger is practically limited, have in vaccination and re-vaccination a remedy which is simple, effectual, and, when performed by the public vaccinator, absolutely without cost to them.

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