HC Deb 17 July 1924 vol 176 cc591-2

asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of the hardships and risks to health and life imposed upon workers handling hides, horns, hoofs, bones, wool, and hair, particularly those imported from India and Asia generally; and, in view of the fact that docks, wharves, quays, warehouses, and workshops at which these commodities are handled for transporting and sorting are not scheduled under the Factory Acts, will he take steps to include in the forthcoming legislation such Clauses as will cover all those engaged in the handling of these commodities?


As the answer to this question is rather long, I will, with my hon. Friend's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

I am well aware of the risk from anthrax to which these workers are exposed, and will take every possible step to meet it. There is already power under the Factory Act to make Regulations for the protection of persons employed in docks-and the other premises mentioned, and Regulations are in force in regard to the handling of hides imported from Asia or Africa. Experience shows, however, that the most, if not the only, effective remedy consists in the disinfection of the material, and the most hopeful line of advance, therefore, will be to utilise, wherever practicable, the powers conferred by the Anthrax Prevention Act, 1919, by providing for compulsory disinfection at the port of entry. As my hon. Friend knows, certain materials are already being compulsorily disinfected at the Government Station at Liverpool, and the extension of this requirement to other materials, and in particular to East India wool, is now under consideration.