HC Deb 29 November 1938 vol 342 c217
8. Mr. Stephen

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that a 62-years-old woman, Mrs. Isabella Scott, 77, Forduend Street, Mile End, Glasgow, was bitten by a rat while she was asleep and in consequence had to be taken to the Royal Infirmary; and what steps he intends to take to provide protection for the tenants in this ward of the city?

Mr. Colville

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part, the duty of disinfesting any premises of rats rests upon the occupier. The officials of Glasgow Corporation advise occupiers of the most effective methods of disinfestation, and rat poison is issued at a nominal charge. Such an incident, however, illustrates the unsatisfactory housing conditions, which are engaging the active attention of the corporation.

Mr. Stephen

Is that all the protection the Minister can give to the people in those districts? Is he aware that the other tenants are also living in a state of terror, and is it not as important to protect people against rats as against Germans?

Mr. Colville

The information I have is that the house where this incident occurred is free from serious structural defects. It is rather hard to give complete protection in a matter of this kind, as it is bound up with the problem of housing, which the corporation are actively trying to grapple with.

Mr. Gibson

Is the right hon. Gentleman keeping in mind a similar instance in Greenock?