§ 36. Mr. ALBERT SMITH
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to a new form of disease affecting weavers at one or two mills in Colne and Burnley; and whether he will cause minute inquiries to be made with a view to preventing similar outbreaks?
§ Mr. McKENNA
I have received a report from the factory inspector on this subject. It appears that some few weeks ago certain weavers in a Burnley factory were attacked by an unusual cough which affected their breathing. The shed in question is a dry one, ventilated by six exhaust fans, and the general conditions are good. In order to investigate the matter, the firm at once called in experts, who expressed the opinion that the outbreak was due to some mouldy sago in the size used in dressing the warps, causing mildew in the shed. In accordance with their advice, the mill was closed and thoroughly disinfected by the local authorities. The sago is now being specially treated to prevent the development of mildew and the warps damped by a solution of carbolic acid, with the result that a decided improvement has already taken 2642 place. A very similar outbreak occurred in a factory in Colne in the spring of 1911, which was also traced to mildew on the warps. After proper treatment and disinfection of the premises no further trouble occurred.