HC Deb 14 December 1943 vol 395 c1418W
Mr. Leach

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland under what authority are the 3,000 people on board the ship that arrived at a West of Scotland port with a case of smallpox on board detained at an isolation centre for 14 days; whether he is aware that the custom of English ports has been to allow all passengers from ships infected with smallpox to go to their homes and to notify the medical officer of health that they have been smallpox contacts; and why this system was not adopted by the Scottish authorities?

Mr. Johnston

About 2,500 Army personnel were sent to various army camps and kept under surveillance. In addition 363 persons were detained at a special centre. Nearly all of them were Service personnel or Allied nationals with no homes in this country, and the action taken, which was judged to be in the best interests of the public health, was with the concurrence of the representative of the Allied Government concerned and of the Service authorities. I am informed that in making these arrangements the Medical Officer of Health acted on legal advice as to competency under the Port Sanitary Regulations (Scotland) 1933.