HL Deb 23 January 1962 vol 236 cc832-3

2.44 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the second Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper:

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will consider making it obligatory for all persons entering this country to produce an international certificate of vaccination.]


My Lords, this is not an effective safeguard in its present form. All five infected persons known to have entered this country in recent weeks had valid international certificates. In the Government's view, better protection is normally afforded by the system of warning and follow-up, backed, where circumstances require, by the extensive powers which port health authorities possess to offer vaccination, to place under surveillance and, if necessary, to isolate.


My Lords, may I ask the noble Lord whether he would not agree that at least this matter has served to focus attention on the fact that our health regulations are very bad? Perhaps he will recall that on other occasions I have asked that immigrants should produce a certificate declaring that they are free from tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is not so dramatic as smallpox, but the medical officers of health of this country are exceedingly concerned at the fact that immigrant after immigrant is coming to this country while infected with tuberculosis, and still we are doing nothing to demand either that they should have a certificate or that they should be examined on arrival.


My Lords, I take note of what the noble Baroness says about tuberculosis, but I am afraid that I am not in a position at the moment to answer questions about it.