HC Deb 25 November 1909 vol 13 c370

asked the Secretary for War whether sanitary improvements, in the way of drainage and cleansing of the harbour, have been effected in Malta; if a large portion of the garrison has been removed from the low-lying barracks at St. Elmo to new barracks on the hill; if the cases of fever in the garrison have been reduced to a small proportion of their former number; if he will now remove the prohibition of the use of goats' milk by the garrison, it having been conclusively proved by Dr. Walter Hadwen that there is no connection between goats' milk and fever; and if, considering that the production of goats' milk is the chief farming industry of the island, he will remove a prohibition which is the cause of so much loss to the islanders?


During recent years improvements have been steadily carried out in relation to the drainage of the harbours in Malta. In 1906 a considerable number of the troops were transferred from St. Elmo to the new barracks. The Mediterranean Fever Commission, however, obtained no evidence connecting the condition of the harbours with the prevalence of Mediterranean fever amongst the troops. Since the prohibition of the use of goats' milk in barracks and hospitals Mediterranean fever has practically disappeared from amongst the troops. The evidence given in the Reports of the Royal Society's Mediterranean Fever Commission connecting goats' milk and Mediterranean fever is so strong, and the improvement in" the health of the troops since the use of goats' milk has been given up is so marked, that no responsible Minister who did not wish to be regarded as weak and incompetent would venture to remove the prohibition of the use of goats' milk by the garrison.


Is it not the fact that the reduction in the number of attacks of Mediterranean fever took place before the prohibition? Do not natives not under military orders consume large quantities of goats' milk without suffering any harm, and is not the case that—


Order, order. The question is partaking somewhat of the nature of a speech.