SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, in view of the fact that beri-beri is a disease 1408 which infects a place or locality and so becomes endemic, he will take steps to have all the recently imported Chinese coolies isolated on their arrival at Johannesburg and kept apart from the other workers in the mines until the danger of the development of the disease is past.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. LYTTELTON,) Warwick and Leamington
I have no reason to suppose that the Transvaal Administration and the employers of the newly arrived Chinese labourers will fail to recognise the necessity for all suitable precautions, or to act upon the best advice, though I have not yet heard from Lord Milner what steps have actually been taken; and in the meantime I am not in a position to give the instructions suggested.
§ MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)
Are we to understand that the right hon. Gentleman has telegraphed three times and has had no reply.
§ MR. BLAKE (Longford, S.)
Had not the right hon. Gentleman better send a fourth cable with notice of recall?
§ MR. LYTTELTON
If hon. Members will allow me—In my opinion there is certain to be an explanation of the delay forthcoming, and as I telegraphed as recently as Saturday, I will await a reply.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there are now twenty-three cases of the disease in Johannesburg?