HC Deb 16 December 1912 vol 45 cc1121-2W

asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been drawn to the Report of Dr. E. Rice Morgan, medical officer of health, presented to the Swansea Rural District

Council, in which a statement is made to the effect that on the analysis of the stomach of a horse which had been turned out to grass in that neighbourhood, and which had died, it was found to be impregnated with lead, arsenic, and zinc, from the fumes from the Llansamlet Spelter Works; whether he will make inquiry into this matter, as if these fumes are sufficiently deadly and powerful to poison the herbage, it indicates the desirability of an immediate inquiry by the Home Office into the atmospheric conditions in which the speltermen in the Swansea district are employed; and whether he will grant such an inquiry of an exhaustive character immediately?


My attention had not been called to this report, which relates to a matter outside the jurisdiction of the Home Office, but I will ask the local authority to let me sec it. As regards the last part of the question, I must point out to my hon. Friend that Regulations were made last year and are now in force for the express purpose of removing the dangerous dust and fumes which arise from the processes carried on, and of preventing their finding their way into the air of the workplaces. I have no reason to believe that the Regulations are inadequate for the protection of the workers, and the statement quoted from the report of the medical officer obviously does not afford any ground for supposing that they have failed in their purpose.