HC Deb 14 May 1930 vol 238 cc1853-4
3. Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to a recent report by the medical secretary of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association on his visit to the Sudan to the effect that advanced and infectious cases of leprosy are prevalent, that the disease is spreading into British East African territories from the Belgian Congo, that at Yubo as many as 23 per cent. of contacts acquire the disease, and that further spread of the disease can only be arrested by active and enthusiastic development of technical education and administrative action with the concurrence of native opinion, which is well disposed to it, by both missionary and Government agencies under skilled supervision; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?


No, Sir. I have not as yet seen a copy of the report to which the hon. and gallant Member refers. I will, however, draw the attention of the Government of the Sudan to it. I understand that Dr. Cochrane, secretary of the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association, recently visited the leper colonies at Wau, Tembura and Yambio, and discussed the position with the officials of the Sudan Government.

Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

How is it that the hon. Gentleman has no knowledge of this report? Has he communicated with the Colonial Office in the matter, and can he say whether the medical officer of the Colonial Office is on that association and has knowledge of the report?


I shall be glad to make further inquiries into the matter, which is obviously of great importance. The inquiries which I have made so far have been limited to the information at our disposal at the Foreign Office, and it is on that information that I based my reply, but I shall be very glad to follow up the investigation further and to ask the Colonial Office to see if they can give us any additional information.