HC Deb 26 April 1909 vol 4 cc157-8W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the death from beri beri, on 7th December, 1908, of an Asiatic fireman named Lum Kau, a member of the crew of the "Tweeddale," of Glasgow; whether he is aware that this disease is attributed to insufficient and improper food; whether the seaman was medically examined before joining the vessel; whether he had any previous sea service; and whether any previous cases of death from this disease have occurred on this vessel?


The Collector of Customs at Union Bay, British Columbia, has reported the death from beri beri of the fireman Lum Kau on 7th of December last. The cause of beri beri has not yet been definitely ascertained, but it is probable that bad and insufficient food may predispose to the disease. I am not aware whether the man had been medically examined before joining the ship, but I am informed that he had had previous sea service. The "Tweeddale" has not since been in the United Kingdom, and is now at Samarang, but upon her return further inquiry will be made. No other case of death from beri beri has occurred in this ship during the last three years.