HC Deb 20 April 1950 vol 474 cc311-2
35. Mr. Thomas Reid

asked the Minister of Health where our recent smallpox infections originated; what foul ports are visited by British ships; and if he is satisfied that international health and quarantine regulations are efficiently observed at these ports.

Mr. Bevan

All cases were traced to an Asian seaman who arrived in London on 5th March. It has not been possible to establish the source of infection. British ships inevitably visit many ports where serious infections may occur, but the application of health and quarantine measures is a matter for the Governments concerned.

Mr. Reid

Could my right hon. Friend say what ports are, technically, foul ports at the moment?

Mr. Bevan

No, I could not say at the moment what they are, but if my hon. Friend puts down a Question I will try to obtain the information for him. We are satisfied that certain ports of call have been sources of infection, and I am making inquiries about it through the International Health Organisation

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Could my right hon. Friend say how many of the victims in this country had recently been vaccinated?

Mr. Bevan

If my hon. Friend will put down a Question I will give him an answer. I think that quite a number had not been vaccinated.