HL Deb 03 August 1961 vol 234 cc313-4WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are aware:—

  1. (1) that medical science has nearly eradicated tuberculosis in this country;
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  3. (2) of the results of the investigators, headed by Dr. Emerson of Westminster Chest Clinic, among 2,611 persons serving food or drink in the electoral ward of Soho who submitted themselves to X-ray action;
  4. (3) that their Report in the British Medical Journal of 13th July, discloses that 8 persons per 1,000 were suffering from active disease, the national figure being under 2 per 1,000;
  5. (4) that Chinese from Hong Kong had the highest incidence, namely 53.8 per thousand X-rayed; and what action they are able to take Ito ensure that all new entrants to the catering and food trades in Soho should be tuberculin tested.


My right honourable friend has noted the progress made towards the eradication of tuberculosis in this country, and the survey to which the noble Earl refers. X-ray examination followed by treatment where necessary will continue to be encouraged, especially among groups where incidence is high; but it would not be justifiable to make tuberculin testing a condition of entry into the catering and food trades in Soho, it being generally accepted that the handling of food by tubercular persons involves no risk of spreading infection to the consumers.