HL Deb 18 May 1896 vol 40 cc1534-5

in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, said that its object was to disestablish an establishment which had been maintained for a great many years for the exclusion of plague and yellow fever. In the Debates of 1894–5 on the Estimates attention was drawn to the expense of the establishment which was borne by the Vote of the Privy Council Office, and amounted to £1,700 a year. The Department concerned having had its attention drawn to this expenditure, and having consulted all the other Departments interested, came to the conclusion that it might with safety be done away with; and the object of the Bill was to bring those particular diseases under the same regulations and law as other infectious diseases. The Act which at present applied to plague and yellow fever was the Act of 1825, but all other infectious diseases were dealt with by the Public Health Acts of 1875 and 1889. It was held by the authorities concerned with the detection of infectious diseases on board ships and the tracing of persons who might have been on a suspected ship and the destruction of the articles which might have been in contact with diseased persons, that those were points all dealt with in those Acts. It was held by the Local Government Board and the Port Sanitary authorities and other authorities that those regulations were sufficient to keep the country secure from infectious diseases of this kind, or, at any rate, to detect them so quickly that serious danger of their being spread through the country was removed. There was a provision in the Bill which applied the Act to Scotland. The House had already passed through Committee the Public Health Bill for Scotland. In that Bill there was a similar provision as was contained in this Bill.

Read 2a (according to Order), and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.