East Africa (Stramonium Poisoning)

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th March 1945.

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Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East 12:00 am, 14th March 1945

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether his attention has been called to the large number of cases of stramonium poisoning recorded in the East African Colonies; whether both Service and non-Service elements have been affected; to what responsibility is this outbreak to be attributed; and what steps have been taken to prevent the continuance of this occurrence in these territories.

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

I have seen a report of cases of stramonium poisoning in Kitale, Nanyuki and Tanga, due to the presence of seeds or leaves of this poisonous weed in sacks of meal. But I have no details and am asking the Governments concerned for a report.

Photo of Major Abraham Lyons Major Abraham Lyons , Leicester East

May I ask the right hon. and gallant Gentleman whether this disease is not due to the contamination of mixed meals supplied largely to the troops, and will he look at the East African Medical Journal for December last to see how this serious disease can be ended forthwith by giving decent storage space for food?

Photo of Hon. Oliver Stanley Hon. Oliver Stanley , Westmorland

It is well known that there is danger of poisoning of this kind from the mixture in the meal, but full information has already been given to producers as to how this can be avoided, and I am going to ask the Governors how, in this particular instance, contamination has taken place.