HL Deb 29 August 1848 vol 101 cc613-4

, in moving the Order of the Day for the Second Reading of this Bill, said, the measure was intended to make provisions of a more effectual and more permanent character than those under the Temporary Act. The object of this Bill was twofold: first, to give more effectual powers for abating nuisances; and, second, to provide more effectual means for preventing the spread of contagious disorders. After explaining some of the details of the Bill, and pointing out wherein it differed from the former Bill, the noble Marquess observed, that it gave power to the Privy Council to authorise the Board of Health to issue orders for the purpose of providing rules and regulations on the appearance of any contagious disease. Of all the measures passed during the present Session of Parliament—and some were most important—with regard to the general sanitary condition of the country, none was more immediately calculated to meet the apprehension which was known to exist, and which naturally existed, as to the probable approach of the cholera morbus to this country. He was happy to take this opportunity of stating that which he thought was well calculated materially to allay that apprehension, that, although there had been a great conflict of opinion as to whether this was a contagious disorder or not, he could undertake to say, without venturing to give their Lordships any opinion of his own upon the subject, that the result of inquiries which had taken place during the first and subsequent visisitations of this complaint, had induced many of those who had believed it to be contagious, to alter their opinion, and to consider it epidemic. A person of eminent skill, who had recently visited Russia, where the cholera prevailed, had come back impressed with the opinion that it was epidemic only, and not contagious; and he had collected some valuable facts and observations in support and confirmation of this opinion. The phenomena which had been observed, as connected with the disorder, showed that its causes were atmospheric; that it was influenced by the exhalations of rivers, the currents of air, and certain meteoric changes and vicissitudes; that the disturbing causes which promoted the disorder resided principally, if not altogether, in the atmosphere. He thought that the present Session should not terminate without some precautionary measure to guard against whatever might accelerate the progress of this disorder, and he therefore hoped this Bill would receive the favourable attention of their Lordships.

Bill read 2a.

House adjourned.

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