HC Deb 05 May 1909 vol 4 cc1166-7W

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the death at sea from beri beri, on 27th January, 1909, of an Asiatic coal trimmer named Rahomallee Mossohallee whilst serving on the steamer "Cardiganshire," of Liverpool; whether he is aware that this disease is attributed to insufficient and improper food; whether the seaman was medically examined before joining, and how long he had been on the vessel; whether he had any previous sea service; and whether any previous cases of deaths from this disease have occurred on this vessel?


The man referred to died of beri beri when ten days out on a voyage from Bangkok to Zaandam. 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, however, informed by the owners that the food supplied in the "Cardiganshire" was better and more abundant than the India Government scale required. The man was medically examined before joining the ship, and had been on board nearly three months; but as he developed dropsy four days after joining, it is possible that he took beri beri on board with him. I am not aware whether he had had previous sea service. No other death from beri beri has occurred on board this vessel during the last three years.