§ Dr. Godman
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what guidelines are issued to those local authorities which have responsibilities for maritime matters in relation to the medical and physical wellbeing of passengers on cruise liners; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assistance is being given to Inverclyde Council in relation to the inspection and assessment of the water-supply system on board the cruise liner 'Edinburgh Castle'; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what steps he proposes to take to protect the health of passengers of cruise liners which operate out of, or call at, Scottish ports; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what plans he has to modify the rules and regulations governing the environmental health role played by local authorities which have responsibilities anent the inspection and quarantining of cruise liners; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) what recent representations he has received anent the outbreak of Legionnaires disease on board cruise liners; and if he will make a statement; 
(6) when his officials were first informed of reports of the existence of Legionnaires disease amongst passengers on board the cruise liner 'Edinburgh Castle'; and if he will make a statement; 
(7) how many outbreaks of Legionnaires disease occurring on board (a) cruise liners and (b) other vessels whilst in (i) Scottish waters, (ii) berthed in Scottish ports and (iii) calling at Scottish ports have been reported to his officials by maritime local authority environmental health departments in the last 15 years; and if he will make a statement; 
(8) what guidelines or instructions are issued to the owners and masters of cruise liners operating out of, or calling at, Scottish ports in relation to (i) the outbreak of 291W Legionnaires disease and (ii) other health matters affecting both passengers and crews; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
Information about the possible presence of legionella bacteria on SS Edinburgh Castle was first received by the Scottish Office Department of Health on 18 June. The ship was at that time at sea and due to arrive in Greenock on 21 June. On its arrival at Greenock, officers from the local port authority inspected the ship and took water samples. The analysis, which became available on 24 June, confirmed the presence of the bacteria in the water supply and remedial measures were set in train on the ship, which was by then again at sea. On return to Greenock on 28 June further action was taken to ensure the safety of the water supply on board. The work has been completed and the ship has now left port.
In carrying out its public health responsibilities, Inverclyde Council has had assistance and advice from, among others, the Scottish Centre for Infection and Environment Health, Argyll and Clyde Health Board, the Scottish Legionella Reference Laboratory, the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who inspected the ship in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Provisions and Water) Regulations 1989.
The importance of maintaining health at sea is taken very seriously and, earlier this year, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency issued a revised Marine Guidance Note to all masters and operators about the risk of contamination of ships' air conditioning systems by legionella bacteria. Advice on other health matters including food hygiene has also been recently updated by the Agency. The Merchant Shipping (Provisions and Water) Regulations 1989 place a responsibility on employers and masters to ensure that ships' provisions and water do not contain anything which is likely to cause sickness or injury to health.
My right hon. Friend has received no recent representations about outbreaks of Legionnaires Disease on cruise liners. Available information indicates that, in addition to the SS Edinburgh Castle, there has been only one previous case, in October 1997, which involved a Spanish trawler.
The Public Health (Ships)(Scotland) Regulations 1971, as amended, which provide for the public health control of ships arriving at or leaving Scottish ports, are being reviewed as part of the general review of public health legislation in Scotland now underway.