§ Mr. FALLE
asked the First Lord of the Admiralty the number of cases of lead poisoning which have occurred in the Gun Wharf shop, Portsmouth Dockyard, and in Portsmouth Dockyard generally this year, the number of deaths from this disease and the amount of compensation paid this year; if the efficiency of the medical inspection of this disease can be increased; and if the ventilation of the Gun Wharf shop can be improved by the addition of a couple of windows?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara)
The number of cases of lead poisoning which have occurred this year are, in the Gun Wharf shop, five; in the dockyard generally, five. The numbers of deaths from lead poisoning this year are: men employed in the Gun Wharf shop, none; men employed in the dockyard generally, two. Of these, the first case, H. C. Smith, was first placed on the hurt list 15th October, 1903, finally placed on hurt list on the 4th September, 1909, and invalided on 26th January, 1910. He died 11th January, 1911. The second case, E. J. Gillingham, was placed on the hurt list 15th October, 1910, returned to duty 15th December, and was employed on light work. He was taken ill again on the 31st October, 1911, and died on the following day. The amount of compensation paid this year is as follows: In respect of men employed in the Gun Wharf shop: £3 2s. 3d. in hurt pay, and one allowance of 7s. 10d. a week. In respect of men employed in the dockyard generally: £11 0s. 2d. in hurt pay and compensation. The smallness of the amount of compensation in the latter case is due to the fact that Smith, who died on the 11th January last, had been receiving compensation which, under the Superannuation Act, 1887, was confined to himself. The total amount he received 509 was about £22. His daughter was awarded a grant of £30 from the Treasury Compassionate Fund. The second death took place on the 1st of this month, and the claim of the deceased's dependents has only just been received. Following on the cases at the Gun Wharf shop in 1909, elaborate localised exhaust ventilation was installed with the object of removing the fumes. As soon as the cases this year came to the knowledge of the Factory Department at the Home Office, with a report from the district inspector, the Medical Inspector of Factories, with whom I have discussed the matter this week, and the Inspector of Dangerous Trades, made arrangements to visit the factory together to-morrow, to examine the workers and to inquire into the efficiency of the ventilation. With regard to the suggestion that the ventilation of the Gun Wharf Shop would be improved by the addition of a couple of windows, I have to say that as the shop is installed with a mechanical exhaust system of ventilation, the proposal would reduce rather than improve the efficiency of the ventilating arrangements.