HC Deb 17 July 1919 vol 118 cc643-4W

asked the Minister of Health whether inquests are required to be held after all cases of sudden death of persons undergoing treatment for venereal diseases; and, if not, whether he will issue instructions with a view to securing that inquests shall be held in all such cases in future?


Section 2 of the Coroner's Act, 1887, requires an inquest to be held whenever there is a violent or unnatural death or a sudden death of which the cause is unknown. There is no power under the Statute enabling any Minister to issue instructions that inquests shall be held in any cases not covered by the Section to which I have referred.


asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that a very serious state of affairs exists at the military hospital for venereal diseases at Warlingham; that the hospital is understaffed and the supervision of the men inadequate; whether he is aware that thefts are frequent, and that, owing to insufficient guard, patients break bounds whenever they wish, cutting the barbedwire and violently asaulting those who try to restrain them, and afterwards wander to Croydon and other places; whether the discipline of the soldiers on guard is much impaired; whether repeated representations in regard to these matters have been made to the War Office without effect; and whether he will take prompt and effective steps to put an end to this scandal?


I am having inquiries made into the statements contained in this question, and will communicate with my hon. Friend as soon as possible.