HC Deb 19 April 1928 vol 216 cc339-40
15. Mr. BRIANT

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been called to a statement by the Medical Officer of Health for Kent, in which it is stated that the by-laws affecting the conditions of hop-pickers have not been adopted in their entirety and also attributing negli- gence in their enforcement by the local authorities; and, in view of the danger to the health of the hop-pickers and also the neighbourhoods in which they temporarily reside, whether he will see that the by-laws are uniformly adopted and enforced?


asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been drawn to a recent address by the county Medical Officer of Health for Kent referring to the sanitary conditions of some hop-picking camps, and the administration of certain rural district councils in connection therewith; and what proceedings, if any, he proposes to take to remedy the conditions referred to?


Yes, Sir. This address and a report made by the Medical Officer of Health are receiving my consideration. I have no power to compel a local authority either to adopt or to enforce by-laws on this subject, but I have represented to the local authorities the importance of their administrative functions in this matter and, if necessary, I shall continue to do so.


Have the inspectors of the right hon. Gentleman's Department who have visited the hop fields confirmed in their reports the report of this medical officer?


Perhaps the hon. Member will give me notice of that question.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the extreme gravity of the matter, not only to the hop-pickers themselves but to the surrounding country, and, if his powers are not sufficient to deal with the authorities concerned, will he seek further powers in order that he may deal with them?


That depends on other considerations.