Mr. Parkes asked a series of questions In the Legislative Assembly yesterday respecting the liability of men employed in cutting sand- stone to contract the disease known as stone- masons' phthisis, and asked whether the Go- vernment would grant sufferers medical aid without removing them from their homes, un- less in the early stages of the disease.
The Premier, in reply, said: "The Chief Medical Officer of the Government has in- formed me that all workmen continually ex- posed to breathe an atmosphere which is loaded with sharp dust, and who neglect simple precautions, are more liable than others to suffer from bronchitis, pneumonia, and the disease known as fibroid phthisis. But those who cut Sydney sandstone are not known to be especially liable. Stonemasons' phthisis is the name which has been given to the disease during a hundred years past. The re- medies to be applied by way of prevention are:-(a) Free ventilation, (b) sprinkling the work with water, (c) respirators to be worn by the workmen. Of 1620 deaths ascribed to consumption which occurred in the metropoli- tan district during the four years 1903-6, each of which was individually inquired into by the Medical Officer of Health, in 40 the patients were said to have been employed at one time or another in cutting or excavating sandstone; but some of those would have suffered if in any other occupation, and the duration of such employment in any case was not ascertained."