26. Mr. EDMUND HARVEY
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the fact that out of the 42 cases of lead poisoning notified in 1922 among workers in the manufacture of china and earthenware 17 were fatal; and whether he can give the ages and sex of those who died and state on what processes they were employed?
The numbers stated in the question are those given in the Report of the Chief Inspector of Factories for 1922. I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the particulars asked for, together with the duration of the worker's employment in the industry.
§ Following are the particulars promised:1583
29. Mr. E. HARVEY
asked the Home Secretary whether, seeing that the Report of the Chief Inspector of Factories shows that a larger number of deaths from lead poisoning occurred in 1922 than in any previous year since 1900, he can state what steps he proposes to take in order to put an end to the loss of life in the industries concerned?
I presume the hon. Member refers only to the pottery industry. In no other industry was there a larger number of deaths from lead poisoning in 1922 than in any previous year since 1900. The hon. Member must not take the number of fatal cases from lead poisoning in 1922 as affording any indication of present conditions. In most fatal cases the disease has been contracted a long time previously, and, as the hon. Member will find from the particulars of the 1922 cases, which will be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT, the deceased had, in practically every instance, been employed for a long period of years in the industry. In fact, with few exceptions, the period of employment was not less than 20 years, and in two cases the worker had ceased to be employed in the industry some years previously. [HON. MEMBERS: "Circulate it!"] After an exhaustive inquiry by a Departmental Committee, a new code of Regulations for the industry was brought into operation in 1913, and since then there has been a great reduction in the total number of cases. Every effort is being made to reduce the number still further, but the hon. Member may rest assured that the situation will be carefully watched.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I might suggest that all answers of that length should be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.