HC Deb 28 July 1913 vol 56 cc6-7

asked the President of the Board of Agriculture whether his attention has been called to a discussion at the recent congress of the Royal Sanitary Institute held at Exeter at the beginning of this month, in which the opinion was expressed by a leading veterinary expert, and sympathetically received by the congress, to the effect that the consumption of milk containing bovine tubercle bacilli has the effect of immunising young children and others against human tuberculosis, and that measures for exterminating tuberculosis in cattle may actually result in a spread of the human disease; and, if so, whether he is prepared to reconsider the possible effects of the Tuberculosis Order of 1913 in the light of modern scientific knowledge or, alternatively, to defer the enforcement of its provisions pending further scientific research? In putting this question, I should like to draw attention to the fact that the main virtue of it lay in the word "drastic" which appeared before the word "enforcement," and that that word has been cut out.

Mr. HERBERT LEWIS (Parliamentary Secretary to Local Government Board)

My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. His attention has been called to the expression of opinion quoted by the hon. Member, but in view of the far more generally expressed opinion that a great number of young children every year contract tuberculosis with fatal results through the consumption of milk from tuberculous cows, he is not disposed to relax the efforts which he is making to check the disease by the operation of the Tuberculosis Order of 1913.