§ 40. Mr. McENTEE
asked the First Commissioner of Works, with regard to the recent discovery of a number of black rats in various parts of the House of Commons building, what numbers have been killed; whether the species found is known to be a dangerous disease-carrier; and what steps he is taking in the matter?
§ The FIRST COMMISSIONER of WORKS (Mr. Ormsby-Gore)
I am not aware that any black rats have been seen in the Palace of Westminster, and none have been killed. Three brown rats were caught in October, and, though the number of traps was increased from 32 to 100 during the present month, only three more have been caught, all of the same variety. Though all rats are objectionable, I do not understand that the brown rat is specially dangerous as a carrier of disease.
§ Mr. McENTEE
Was one of these rats caught just behind the Speaker's Chair and another in the kitchen attached to the Members' dining room, and will the right hon. Gentleman consult with the Member for South Kensington (Sir W. Davison) and the Noble Lady the Member for Perth and Kinross (Duchess of Athol]) to see if they have been introduced from Russia?
§ Sir FRANCIS ACLAND
In view of the well-known gregarious character of these animals, will the right hon. Gentleman have a trap kept under the Government bench?