HC Deb 15 April 1929 vol 227 cc13-5
Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE (by Private Notice)

asked the Minister of Health the numbers respectively of the crew of the s.s. "Tuscania" on her recent voyage from Bombay to Liverpool and of the passengers landed; whether all the passengers and crew are under observa- tion; what number of cases of smallpox have occurred amongst them, what is the number and vaccination history of the cases that have died, and whether any cases of smallpox have been notified from contacts with such passengers and crew?


My hon. and gallant Friend will have seen the statement on this case issued by my Department and published in the newspapers on Saturday, and at present my right hon. Friend is not in a position to make any further statement.

Mr. JOHNSTON (by Private Notice)

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that a member of the crew of the s.s. "Tuscania" was discharged at Marseilles; whether subsequently a wireless message was received from Marseilles intimating that the man had died from smallpox; whether on arrival at Liverpool the other members of the crew were taken to hospital for smallpox; whether on arrival at Glasgow and before fumigation or disinfection of the ship an engineer along with 23 cases of chickens and seven barrels of ducks were transferred to the s.s. "Caledonia" which sailed for New York on the 7th April; whether the Transport Workers' Union informed the Ports' Medical Authorities of the; transfer of the engineer and the foodstuffs from the infected ship prior to the sailing of the "Caledonia"; why nothing was done to prohibit this proceeding; whether 40 bags of flour have since been transferred from the infected vessel to the s.s. "California," and whether he is in a position to assure the House that all proper steps are being taken to prevent a spread of the infection?

The SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Sir John Gilmour)

I have been unable, in the time available, to obtain information on the detailed matters referred to in this question. I am, however, making inquiries and will communicate the result to the hon. Member after these have been completed. I am satisfied that all reasonable steps are being taken by the competent authorities in Scotland to deal with the position and to protect the interests of the public.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether Dr. Macgregor, in charge at the Health Department at Glasgow, has sent any wireless messages to the s.s. "Caledonia" and, if so, whether he can state the purport of those messages?


As I have already explained to the hon. Member, that is one of the points which I cannot answer.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the best medical supervision in the world is obtainable at the Liverpool docks?