HC Deb 28 March 1899 vol 69 c634
SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he is aware that the deaths have occurred in the Potteries on 19th January of Bertha Carter, engaged in ware cleaning and taking ware from dipper; on 13th March of William Hopkins, glost-placer; on 16th March of Arthur Rushton, glost-placer; whether, though all these were persons employed in the most dangerous processes, two of whom had previously suffered from lead poisoning, no inquests were held; and, whether he will cause inquiry to be made into the more recent case of Henry Drakeford, dipper, who died on 18th March in a workhouse, where he had been for seven weeks, having been a dipper from the age of 14, and who, after 13 years at dipper's work, became subject to fits, from which he had suffered for several years, and which are alleged to have been caused by lead poisoning?


There has been much difficulty in tracing the cases mentioned in the first paragraph of the question. But I now find that in all three cases the death was certified as due to other causes than lead poisoning: and in each case the medical man in attendance on the deceased is strongly of opinion that death was not in any way caused by lead. In these circumstances the cases did not and could not come to the notice of the coroner as cases where an inquest might be necessary. Enquiry shall be made into the case mentioned in the last paragraph of the Question.