HC Deb 11 March 1943 vol 387 cc853-4
40. Sir Francis Fremantle

asked the Minister of Health whether the outbreak of diphtheria in East Yorkshire, traced to new clean milk from a farm, was due to infection the spread of which could have been prevented by pasteurisation; and what action has been taken to avoid such danger in future?

Mr. E. Brown

I am advised that the spread of infection in the case to which my hon. Friend refers would have been prevented by pasteurisation. I understand that only one cow is kept on the farm concerned, and the sale of milk from this farm has been ended.

Sir F. Fremantle

Can my right hon. Friend explain why there is delay in providing more adequate measures for ensuring pasteurisation in these cases?

Dr. Russell Thomas

Is the Minister aware that in Montreal a few years ago, where all the milk was pasteurised, there was an epidemic of 3,000 cases and 500 deaths and that the cause of the epidemic was traced to a worker in the pasteurisation plant?

Mr. Edward Smith

Is the Minister aware that recently in one of the Home Counties 40 samples of pasteurised milk, as supplied to school children, were taken away to be analysed, and 22 were found to be unsatisfactory?

Mr. Brown

I would like to see the specific terms of that Question on the Order Paper.

Mr. Purbrick

If milk is pasteurised, might not the germs of diphtheria gain access to it afterwards?