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under several

Shipping Act.

THE statutes relating to the sanitation of our Naval hygiene ports and to naval hygiene are only in part carried authorities. out by the Public Health Service. Some portion is imposed as a duty on the masters of vessels, and some on the Custom House Officials. The Merchant The Merchant Shipping laws have many useful regulations having for their object the maintenance of health, particularly in regard to emigrants, so as to ensure the provision of a proper water supply, the prevention of overcrowding, and the wholesomeness of the diet, besides which there are regulations as to privy accommodation, as to ventilation, lighting, and medical attendance. There is also the well-known lime-juice provision still in force, with the object of preventing outbreaks of scurvy which were formerly so disastrous.

The Merchant Shipping laws are, however, not enforced by a port sanitary authority.


The Quarantine Act of George IV. (Quarantine The old Act, 6 Geo. IV. c. 78) is still in force, and the Act. following is a summary of its chief provisions :—

or goods are

Vessels touching at infected ports, or receiving What vessels any persons or things coming from infected vessels, liable to are declared liable to quarantine.'

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Particular goods which have been found specially


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liable to infection, and vessels bringing such goods, are subject and liable to special regulation (Sect. 5). On emergency the Privy Council may make such order, as they may think necessary, 'for the purpose of cutting off all communication between any persons infected with any infectious disease,' and likewise they may make such orders, as they may think fit, for shortening the time of quarantine to be performed by particular vessels, or particular persons, goods, wares, merchandise, or any other articles, or for absolutely or conditionally releasing them, or any of them, from quarantine (Section 7).

Masters and captains of vessels at sea meeting other vessels, or within two miles of the United Kingdom, the Channel Isles, and the Isle of Man, if they have a clean bill of health, are to hoist at the main-top mast-head a yellow flag; if they have an unclean bill of health, then the yellow flag has to possess a circular black patch in the middle.

At night the signal in both cases is to be a light in a lantern at the main-top mast-head (Section 8).

The masters of vessels having dangerous infectious disease on board are to exhibit at the maintop mast-head a yellow and black flag borne quarterly (Section 9.)

It is the duty of the Superintendents of the Port, or the Chief Officer of Customs, to go off to a vessel and interrogate the captain or master. Refusal to answer, or the giving of false answers, are offences punishable by fine, £200 or less.

The Act also provides heavy money penalties for

the offences of eluding quarantine, and for masters, crew, or passengers quitting vessels unlawfully.

Under the Quarantine Act there is no provision for disinfection, but Section 24 enacts that all goods and merchandise liable to quarantine 'shall be opened and aired' in appointed places and for an appointed time.

It must also be noted that the third part of the fifth schedule of the Public Health Act, 1875, enacts that

'Every vessel having on board any person affected with a Quarantine Act applied by dangerous or infectious disorder shall be deemed to be within Public Health the provisions of the Act of the sixth year of King George IV. Act, 1875. c. 78 (ie. the Quarantine Act), although such vessel has not commenced her voyage, or has come from, or is bound for, some place in the United Kingdom.'

The small extent of use of the Quarantine Act may be gathered from the words of Dr. Stopford Taylor, Medical Officer of Health for the Port of Liverpool; he says:1

of the Quarantine Act.

'So far as England is concerned we may say that quarantine Dr. Stopford Taylor's view is abolished, for though the Quarantine Act of 1825 exists, it is of the working never enforced except in the case of yellow fever. Quarantine stations, once so numerous around our coast, have been swept away, with lazarettos and their expensive establishments; no pest-houses, airing-hulks, or fumigating apparatus exist; they have disappeared and are not missed. To satisfy the fears of the timid, and gratify the admirers of old customs, two or three disused men-of-war are moored at the Mothertank, off the Isle of Wight, with a staff of well-trained officers and men to deal with any vessel ordered by Her Majesty's Government to be placed in quarantine. In Liverpool we have a quarantine

1The Medical Supervision of the Mercantile Marine' (Congress of Hygiene, 1821).

The Customs
Laws Con-


officer appointed by the customs authority to carry out the Quarantine Act; and, by a general order of that body, he is instructed to visit all ships arriving with infectious disease on board (except cholera), and should the disease be plague or yellow fever, he is to place them in quarantine; in the case of the other infectious diseases, the customs officer is directed to communicate the fact to the medical officer of health, who then takes charge of the patients and ship. Some few years ago a vessel was put in quarantine in the Mersey, because some cases of yellow fever had occurred on board during her homeward passage; and, after being detained several days, application had to be made to the port sanitary authority to take charge of the ship before the Privy Council could release her.'

The Customs Laws Consolidation Act, 1876 (39 solidation Act, and 40 Vict. c. 36, sect. 234), provides that the Privy Council may from time to time require that no person shall land from a ship coming from a place infected with yellow fever, or other infectious disease, until the officers of customs have examined into the state of health of the persons on board and given permission to land. Penalty for default, £100 or less.

Law as to

nuisances in relation to nuisances on ships.

The pilot or master is also liable to the same penalty for not hoisting the prescribed signal.

Under the Public Health Act, 1875, the law, as regards 'nuisance,' is applicable to vessels.

Section 110 states

That for the purposes of this Act any ship or vessel lying in any river, harbour, or other water within the district of a local authority, shall be subject to the jurisdiction of that authority in the same manner as if it were a house within such district.' 1

1The 13th Section of the Infectious Disease Prevention Act repeats this section.

Vessels lying in water not belonging to any particular authority are to be considered to be within the district of such local authority as the Local Government Board may prescribe, and, where no local authority has been prescribed, then of the local authority whose district nearest adjoins the place where such ship or vessel is lying.

The section does not apply to Her Majesty's ships nor to ships belonging to Foreign Governments.

From Section 110 (P.H., 1875), it follows that the various provisions in the Public Health Act, 1875, with regard to nuisance arising from privies, animals, overcrowding, and the filthy condition of premises, apply to vessels.

(Ships) Act

The Public Health (Ships) Act, 1885, further Public Health enacts that the Public Health Act Sections relative provisions to infectious diseases and hospitals, are to be infectious applied to ships; these sections are

Section 120. As to cleansing and disinfecting.

Section 121. As to the destruction of infectious.

bedding and clothing.

Section 124. As to the removal to available hospitals of the infectious sick.

Section 125. As to the power of a local authority

to make regulations for removal to hospital. Section 126. As to illegal exposure of infected persons or things.

Section 128. As to the letting of any house (i.e. ship)

or part of a house (i.e. ship) which is infectious. Section 131. As to the power of local authorities to provide hospitals.

relating to


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