HC Deb 23 July 1914 vol 65 cc641-3

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether the stream near the mill at Milnrow, where small-pox recently broke out, was notorious for its insanitary condition; whether he is aware that the council had a tip on which sanitary carts had been emptied close by, and that the tip had been on fire for seven weeks and had given off a disgusting stench; will he say how it was possible to decide there was no epidemiological fact supporting the idea that small-pox can originate from such a source when the circumstances had not been investigated; and whether the general liability to small-pox in the United Kingdom has decreased in proportion as the Public Health Acts have been enforced?


According to my information, the condition of the stream is not exceptional compared with other streams in the mill districts of Lancashire. The nearest tip of the council is a quarter of a mile away. The tip has not been on fire recently, and it has no connection with the stream. I am advised that general medical knowledge was sufficient to enable it to be stated that there are no epidemiological facts supporting the theory that small-pox can originate in the manner suggested. It is fortunately true that during recent years greater attention has been devoted to perfecting public health administration, and that during this time there have been fewer serious outbreaks of small-pox.


asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that in a list of smallpox cases at Milnrow, officially supplied under Section 8 of the Vaccination Act, 1898, by the clerk to the urban district council which maintains the hospital, were included the names of a police constable successfully revaccinated on joining the force two years ago and an unvaccinated child of two years; why these patients were included amongst small-pox if they were only suffering from measles; when and by whom was the alteration made in the diagnosis of these patients' complaints; and whether due weight will be accorded to this child's escape from smallpox, although brought into direct contact with the disease whilst in an unvaccinated condition?


I have not seen the list referred to, but I am informed that both the cases in question are registered at the hospital as cases of measles. They were originally diagnosed as small-pox, but, on admission to the hospital, they were examined by the Medical Superintendent, who concluded they were cases of measles and treated them in a block by themselves. The diagnosis of measles was confirmed by the subsequent history of the cases. The child referred to is not known to have been in direct contact with any case of small-pox. She was successfully vaccinated after admission to the hospital.