HC Deb 30 March 1955 vol 539 cc373-4
49. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how many lepers are now on the leper station near Fiji; the expenditure on this leper island over the last five years, year by year; and how many of the lepers there are European, Fijian and Indian, respectively.

Mr. Hopkinson

There are 634 patients in the Fiji Leprosy Hospital at Makongai. Expenditure in Fijian pounds was 51,000 in 1949, 55,000 in 1950, 58,000 in 1951, 69,000 in 1952 and 64,000 in 1953. Three of the lepers are Europeans, 139 are Fijians and 193 are Indians.

Mr. Teeling

In view of my right hon. Friend's answer to the last Question, would it not now be possible—very good indeed though the arrangements are on the leper island off Fiji—to bring those people back into Fiji and to Suva? The leper island is far away, and the lepers feel that they are completely cut off.

Mr. Hopkinson

I shall certainly bear that suggestion in mind, and refer it to the Governor of Fiji.

Mr. Iremonger

Is it not a fact that islanders from other islands like Fiji and from Colonies outside the British Empire are accommodated in the leper settlement at Makongai?

Mr. Hopkinson

Yes. Gilbertese, Samoans, Cook Islanders and others are also treated there. I should like to mention that we have had generous help in the hospital from the New Zealand Leper Trust Board and others.

Mr. Dugdale

As one of the few Members who have been to this settlement, may I add my tribute to any that may be paid by the right hon. Gentleman to the excellent way in which it is run?

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