Regulations Issued in 1946 for the Safe Use of Hydrogen-Cyanide for the Fumigation of Ships
[British Public Record Office file BT.217/548]
[The document has been optically scanned and corrected, i.e. it is an html-facsimile. For similar American government requirements, specifying Zyklon B, see elsewhere on this Website.]
HYDROGEN CYANIDE (FUMIGATION)
THE HYDROGEN CYANIDE (FUMIGATION OF SHIPS) REGULATIONS, 1946
DATED 1946, MADE BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE UNDER
SECTION I OF THE HYDROGEN CYANIDE (FUMIGATION) ACT, l937 (I EDW. 8 & I GEO. 6 C.45)
In pursuance of Section I of the Hydrogen Cyanide (Fumigation) Act, 1937, I hereby make the following Regulations.
1. In these Regulations:-
"Fumigation" means the fumigation with hydrogen cyanide of any ship or part thereof.
"Owner" means the owner of the ship or the charterer to whom the ship is demised or the responsible agent of such owner or charterer. "Medical Officer of Health" means the Medical Officer of Health of the Port Health District in which the ship is lying, or if the ship is not lying within a Port Health District, the Medical Officer of Health of the Local Authority in whose district the ship is lying, or if the ship is lying in any inland or coastal waters not within the district of a Local Authority or a Port Health District, the Medical Officer of Health of the Local Authority whose district most nearly adjoins the spot where the ship is lying. "Port Health District" means a port health district constituted by the Minister of Health pursuant to section 2 of the Public Health Act 1956.
2 (1) The undertaker shall keep a register in the form set out in the Second Schedule to these Regulations in which the required particulars shall be entered as provided by these Regulations, which Register shall, except when in use by the operator as provided in these Regulations, be kept at the office of the undertaker.
(2) Such register shall be preserved in good condition until a period of five years has elapsed since the last entry, and shall be open to inspection at all reasonable times by any person authorised in that behalf by the Secretary of State,
3 (1) The undertaker shall send to (a) the Harbour-Authority of the area in which the ship is lying or, if there be no Harbour Authority, to the Officer in Charge of the Police Station nearest to the ship, and (b) to the Medical Officer of Health, notice in writing in the form set out in the Third Schedule to these Regulations, of any
forthcoming fumigation stating the name of the ship and the day and time at which the fumigation will begin.
(2) The aforesaid notices shall be sent so as to reach the Harbour Authority or the Officer in charge of the Police Station, as the case may be, and the Medical Officer of Health, not less than 24 hours before the time of commencement of the fumigation.
Provided that, if it is essential, in the interests of public health, that the fumigation shall take place at the earliest possible time, the foregoing requirement as to the time between the sending of the notices and the commencement of the fumigation need not be complied with, but in any such case the undertaker shall inform the said Harbour Authority or the Officer of the Police Station, as the case may be, and the Medical Officer of Health by the most rapid means possible immediately he receives instructions to fumigate, which information shall be confirmed by a notice in the form required by this Regulation.
(3) After the aforesaid notices have been sent, and before the commencement of the fumigation, the undertaker shall complete and sign Part A of the Register set out in the Second Schedule to these Regulations and shall give the said Register or cause it to be given to the operator.
4 (1) No fumigation shall be carried out except by an adequate fumigating staff.
(2) One member of the fumigating staff shall be designated by the undertaker, in writing, as the operator in charge of the fumigation.
(3) The operator shall have had not less than eighteen months regular experience in the use of the fumigant in fumigating one or both of the following, namely, buildings and ships, of which not less than six months shall have been regular experience in fumigating ships, and shall be otherwise competent for the purpose.
(4) The fumigating staff shall in all cases include two persons, one of whom shall be the operator, both of whom shall be adequately trained in First Aid.
(5) If the Secretary of State has for the purpose of these Regulations (a) prescribed a course of instruction in fumigation or (b) specified an examination in fumigation, or (c) specified an examination in First Aid, no person shall engage in the carrying out of a fumigation or in its supervision unless he has taken that course of instruction and passed those examinations.
5 The owner shall &emdash;
(a) give such assistance to the operator as he may require for the purposes of Regulation 6(1) of these Regulations; and
6 (1) The fumigant shall not be liberated until -
(a) all persons other than authorised persons have left the fumigation area and the risk area;
by any person approaching the fumigation area or risk area, which notices shall be illuminated during the hours of darkness;
(2) When the operator has satisfied himself as required by sub-paragraph (f) of paragraph (1) of the Regulation and before the fumigant is liberated he shall complete and sign Text B of the Register set out in the Second Schedule to these Regulations.
7 The fumigant shall not be applied in such a manner as to be absorbed in liquid form by any cargo, dunnage or other material in the holds, engine room, store rooms or other parts of the ship or by any furniture, fittings or effects.
8 (1) The fumigant if applied in liquid form shall contain not less than 95% by weight of available hydrogen cyanide and shall be contained in hermetically sealed containers of a type which, if any type has been prescribed in Regulations made by the Secretary of State under sections 6 and 19 of the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act, 1928, (a) shall comply with the requirements and conditions of such prescription, or, if no type has been so prescribed, in containers constructed in accordance with the specification contained in the Fourth Report of the Gas Cylinders Research Committee of the Department of Scientific Industrial Research.
(a) 18 & 19 G.5 ch. 32.
(2) If applied in absorbed form the absorbed hydrogen cyanide shall not be less than 40% by weight of the total contents of the container.
(3) The undertaker shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that fumigant to be used in fumigation shall be suitably stabilised and has been manufactured not more than six months prior to the fumigation.
9 After the liberation of the fumigant has begun and until the vessel and the risk area have been declared free from danger in the required by Regulation l3(2)(a) of these Regulations-
(a) any authorised person being in any part of those area shall wear or carry ready for immediate use a respirator or other apparatus, which, if any type of respirator of other apparatus has been prescribed by the Secretary of State, shall comply with the requirements and conditions of such prescription, or, if none has been so prescribed, is an efficient respirator or other apparatus which affords protection to the wearer against the fumigant, which respirator or other apparatus shall constantly be maintained in good condition, and shall carry or have in his possession ready for immediate use an efficient electric torch; and
After the liberation of the fumigant has begun and until the ship and the risk area have been declared free from danger in the manner required by Regulation 15(2)(a) of these Regulations, at least one member of the fumigating staff shall remain in attendance
in the risk area
11 After the liberation of the fumigant has begun and until the ship and the risk area have been declared free from in the manner required by Regulation 13(2)(a) of these Regulations steps shall be taken by the operator to keep under observation the risk area and any ships or buildings adjoining the risk area in order to ensure the discovery of any penetration of the fumigant into such ships or buildings; and, in the event of any such penetration being discovered, all necessary steps shall be taken by the operator to safeguard any occupants of such ships and buildings.
12 Notwithstanding anything contained in Regulation 13 is of these Regulations, the operator, if satisfied that adequate ventilation cannot otherwise be secured, and that no undue risk is involved, may permit to accompany him on board, before the issue of the certificate required by Regulation 13(2)(a) of these Regulations, such members of the crew of the ship as are necessary for the purpose of starting the ventilating fans. Such members of the crew shall &emdash;
(a) not be permitted to remain on board for a period longer than is necessary to start the fans and while on board shall be accompanied by the operator; and
13 (1) After the fumigation has been completed, the operator shall satisfy himself that the following requirements have been complied with, namely that -
(a) all apparatus, containers and such residues of the materials used for generating the fumigant as may constitute a danger have been removed and safely disposed of;
(e) it has been established by tests, which shall include the test set out in the Fifth Schedule to those Regulations or, if any other test has been prescribed by the Secretary of State in lieu of, or in addition to the said test, the test or tests so prescribed, that the fumigation area and the risk area are free from danger.
(2) Upon being satisfied as aforesaid, the operator shall -
(a) complete and sign the Certificate of Clearance set out in the Sixth Schedule to these Regulations, and deliver it, or cause it to be delivered, to the owner and to the Harbour Authority, or, if there be no Harbour Authority, to the Officer in charge of the Police Station nearest to the ship; and
(3) Until the foregoing requirements of this Regulation have been complied with, the operator shall secure that no Person other than an authorised person shall be Permitted to enter the fumigation area and the risk area,
l4 (1) Upon the completion of the fumigation the operator shall complete and sign Part D of the Register set out in the second Schedule to these Regulations and shall return to the Undertaker the aforesaid Register, completed as required by these Regulations,
(2) After receipt of the Register the undertaker shall complete and sign in duplicate a report in the form set out in the Seventh Schedule to these Regulations, and shall send it by post to the Secretary of State.
15 Where a station used solely for the purpose of fumigation is established with the consent of the Secretary of State and is operated in a manner approved by him, any fumigation carried out at that station shall be exempt from such provisions of these Regulations as the Secretary of State may from time to time determine, or, if the Secretary of State so determine, from all the provisions of these Regulations
16 (1) Where the purpose of a fumigation includes the fumigation of foodstuffs of such a kind and so stored as to be liable to absorb the fumigant, the undertaker may apply for a foodstuffs exemption certificate -
(a) in any case where the fumigation is to be carried out solely for the purpose of compliance with any made, or having effect under section 143 of the Public Health Act, 143(a) (which empowers the Minister of Health to make Regulations for Preventing the spread of certain diseases) or with a notice served under section 5 of the Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act, 1919(b) (which empowers a local authority to serve a notice requiring the taking of steps to destroy rats and mice), to the Medical Officer of Health;
(2) On any such application as aforesaid the Medical Officer of Health or, as the case may be, the person designated by the Minister of Food may, subject as provided in paragraph (3) of this Regulation, grant a foodstuff exemption certificate on such conditions stated in the certificate as he may think necessary to prevent danger from the contamination of the foodstuff by exposure to the fumigant, and the undertaker shall take all Steps necessary to ensure that the operator shall comply with any conditions stated in the certificate.
(3) Where such an application is aforesaid is made to a person designated for that purpose by the Minister of Food and the purposes for which the fumigation be carried cut include either or both of the purposes specified in sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph (i) of this Regulation, the person designated by the Minister of Food shall, before granting a foodstuffs fumigation certificate, consult the Medical Officer of Health.
17 (1) These Regulations may be cited as the Hydrogen Cyanide (Fumigation of Ships) Regulations.
(2) The Interpretation Act, 1889(c), shall apply to the interpretation of these Regulations as it applies to the interpretation of an Act of Parliament.
(a) 26 G. 5 & 1 E.8, c,49
(b) 9 & 10 G.5 c.72.
(c) 52 & 53 V.c.63
[David Irving came across the document reproduced here, while researching British Government files for his Winston Churchill biography. It is of relevance to the debates on the Holocaust eye-witness testimonies. The original document, Public Record Office file BT.217/548, also has five Schedules attached, draft certificates, forms, and reports of fumigation; these are not reproduced on this Website].
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