HC Deb 23 June 1938 vol 337 c1263
68. Mr. Leach

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the circumstances attending the death from smallpox of Miss Nolan at Gravesend on 20th May; whether he is aware that her father died on 28th April with considerable signs of smallpox but was medically certified as dying from influenza; and will he cause an inquiry to be held?

Mr. Elliot

My attention has been drawn to the death from smallpox of Miss Nolan and of the death of Mr. Nolan which was certified as due to heart failure following influenza. Inquiries have been made by a medical officer of my Department and I am advised that the symptoms and physical signs in the case of Mr. Nolan were not such as to enable a diagnosis of smallpox to be made.

Mr. Leach

Does the Minister know that very few doctors in this country have ever seen a case of smallpox, and that they are not, therefore, very competent to diagnose one?

Mr. Elliot

That is a great tribute to the improvement in the public health.