§ 23 Mr. CAPORN
asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he can give any estimate of the extent of bed bug infestation of houses provided under the various Housing Acts since 1919;
(2) whether, in view of the report of the committee on the eradication of bed bugs, and the danger of infestation of new houses by vermin, he will state what action he proposes to take to prevent this;
(3) what compulsory steps are customarily taken by the local authorities to cleanse, disinfect, or destroy articles infested with vermin whilst such articles are in storage, or exposed for sale, or in transit; and whether he has considered the desirability of providing further powers by fresh legislation?
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Sir Hilton Young)
I will send my hon. Friend such information as is available regarding the infestation of houses provided under the Housing Acts. I have recently issued to local authorities a circular and memorandum on the subject of disinfestation, of which I am sending my hon. Friend copies. The Public Health Act, 1925, makes provision for the compulsory cleansing by local authorities of premises used for human habitation which are infested with vermin, and for the cleansing, disinfecting and, if necessary, destruction of verminous articles found in any such premises. I have no reason to suppose that these powers are inadequate.
§ Mr. CAPORN
Is there any power to deal with articles which are verminous when they are in transit to housing estates, and not in the premises themselves?
§ Sir H. YOUNG
No; but I do not think it would be very practical to take special powers to catch the articles in transit; the cure is to catch them before they start.