HC Deb 25 July 1927 vol 209 cc852-3

asked the Home Secretary if his attention has been called to the Report of the Departmental Committee set up by him to consider evidence as to the occurrence of epitheliomatous ulceration among mule spinners (mule spinners' scrotal cancer) which attributes the absence of evidence of a similar incidence amongst cotton mule spinners in France, Germany, Russia, Poland, and America to the comparatively small number of mule spinners employed abroad; and, in view of the fact that the more probable explanation for the absence of the disease in mule spinners in foreign countries mentioned is the fact that in those countries braces are not worn, but a belt only, he will consider the desirability of making a regulation that all spinners shall wear belts instead of braces, and of directing a further exhaustive inquiry into the fact as to whether or not there is at the present time a spray of oil which can reach the spinner, before introducing regulations giving effect to the expensive recommendations involving alterations to the machinery contined in the Commission's Report.


The suggestion of my hon. Friend as to the cause of this disease is not, so far as I am aware, supported by any evidence. As regards the latter part of the question, the experiments of the Committee have proved that the oil thrown off from the spindles can reach the spinner, and no further enquiry on this point is necessary. No question arises, however, at present of requiring any expensive alterations to the existing mules. The Committee recommended that the employers' and operatives' associations should endeavour by experiment to devise some form of simple and inexpensive guard, which could be easily added to any existing mule, and I am looking to the industry to give effect to this recommendation.