royal college of surgeons of england
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The mean daily number of men absent from duty throughdisease or accident was 3 6 per cent. Dr. Dickson has thisyear tabulated the averages of the yearly reports ofthe last eighteen years, with the following results:-Diseases of the chest, including consumption, constitute30 per cent. of the sickness of the force, 28 per cent.of the superannuation or invaliding, and no leas than55 per cent. of the mortality. Rheumatism and goutgive the proportion of 14 per cent. of the annual sick-
ness, and 33 per cent. of the superannuation, but the propor-tion of deaths from these diseases is very trifling. Disordersof the digestive, nervous, and cutaneous systems come comein order of importance, "nervous "diseases yielding thelarge proportion of 30 per cent. of the superannuations.Febrile and zymotic diseases are in most years compara-tively unimportant. Dr. Dickson closes his report with acomparison between the health of the Customs force andthe army and navy.
THE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND THEVIVISECTION BILL.
THE Royal College of Physicians have drawn up thefollowing petition to the House of Lords :-"That your petitioners view with deep concern a Bill
now before your Lordships, entitled, An Act to PreventCruel Experiments on Animals,’ for medical and physiolo-gical purposes, believing that if passed into law, with itspresent provisions, it will seriously interfere with the ad-vancement of science, the relief of suffering in man andanimals, and the welfare of the public.
11 That your Petitioners, fully assured of the incalculablebenefits to humanity which have been derived from investi-gations into the laws of life and the nature, spread, and con-trol of disease, and the action of poisons, whether takenaccidentally or given intentionally, through the aid of ex-periments on living animals, from the time of their mostillustrious associate William Harvey to the present day,cannot but view with serious apprehension those provisionsof the said Bill which threaten to prevent the pursuit, inthis country, of those studies with which the best interestsof mankind are vitally connected.
"1. Your petitioners would especially pray that the titleand preamble of the said Bill may be so amended as not tocast on physiologists and teachers of medical science anunjust and disproved charge of cruelty.
11 2. That the limits of research, by experiments, may notexclude any investigations having for their object the ac-
quirement of further knowledge of facts and laws relatingto health and disease.
11 3. That experiments of research in non-registered placesmay be permitted on a special certificate granted to personsof known character and position.
"4. That the limitation which the Bill imposes as to the eanimals which may be made the subjects of experimentsmay be omitted, inasmuch as domestic carnivorous animalsare necessary for many purposes of experimental investiga-tion." 5. That the provision in Clause 13 apply only to non-
registered places." Your petitioners, in presenting these requests, are in-
fluenced by those sentiments of humanity of which thisnation justly boasts, and which have always been, and evermust be, dear to those whose daily duty it is to obviate andalleviate suffering and preserve life.
°‘ And your petitioners will ever pray."
ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF ENGLAND.
AN important meeting of the Council of the Royal Collegeof Surgeons of England was held on Thursday evening last.Sir James Paget resigned the presidential chair, Mr.
Prescott Hewett being elected his successor, and Mr. Birkettand Mr. Simon were made Vice-Presidents for the ensuingyear. The following appointments were also made:-Mr.Carter, Professor of Surgery; Mr. Erasmus Wilson, as
usual, Professor of Dermatology; Messrs. Flower and
Parker, Joint Professors of Comparative Anatomy andPhysiology; and Mr. Lowne, L cturer on Anatomy andPhysiology. Sir James Paget was a,ppointed the Collegerepresentative to the General Medical Council, vice Mr.
Qnain, resigned; and Drs. Sievekmg and Bristowe wereappointed Examiners of Medicine.
After some routine business, a discussion arose on thefalling off of the funds of the College, there having been anactual loss on the examinations for the fellowship during thepast year. It was, therefore, suggested that the fees forthe fellowship examinations should be increased, and thatunsuccessful candidates should pay a certain sum at each
rejection.The President reported the result of the conference
which he and the vice-presidents had with Lord Carnarvonrespecting the Vivisection Bill. There is good reason forbelieving that many of the objections urged by the Collegehave been favourably received, and that some importantmodifications will be made. We may hope, for example,that none but Government inspectors will be allowed tomake inquisitorial visits ; that houses occupied by licensedexperimenters may also be licensed, though they may notbe exempt from the visitation of the inspectors ; and thatthe limit of the animals permitted to be used in vivisectionwill be extended. Respecting the certificate ef qualifica.tion in Midwifery, it has been recommended by the legaladviser to the Council that the charter should be alteredrather than a special Act of Parliament obtained to preventpersons being placed on the Medical Register as legallyqualified medical practitioners on the strength of the certi.ficate in midwifery alone.An important discussion took place respecting the Con-
joint Scheme. As we have already announced, the Senateof the University of London have refused compliance withthe scheme as it now stands, but they have proposed cer-tain conditions to the Committee of Reference, on whichthey are willing to co-operate with the other bodies.
It is pleasing to learn that the Prince of Wales has pre-sented to the Museum of the Collpge some skulls andskeletons of animals he shot whilst in India. For thesethe Council have made appropriate acknowledgment.On the motion of Mr. Curling, it was resolved to defer the
consideration of examining women in Midwifery until thenext meeting of the Council.The report of the examiners on the Primary and Pass
Examinations was presented.
THE CAMP OF THE SECOND ARMY CORPSAT HOLMWOOD COMMON, DORKING.
THE camp of the Third Division, Second Army Corps, isplaced two miles south of Dorking, on a hill of about 300feet elevation, of Weald clay, covered thickly with patchesof gorse and bracken and thickets of holly bushes. Here
are assembled the Royal Perth Rifles, the Ayr and Wig-town and the Renfrew Militia Regiments, detachments ofRoyal Engineer Telegraph Train, Army Service Corps,Brigade and Divisional Staffs-in all nearly 3000 men. TheScotch regiments look well and contented ; there are manyfine old soldiers amongst them; but the new material is rawyet, though no doubt it will be much improved in a fort-night’s time. They are occupied all day at drill and thevarious camp duties, and at night the bands of the variousregiments play. Many then avail themselves of the kind-ness of a philanthropic lady, who has had a spaciousreading-room erected, where tea and coffee can be had at atrifling cost. Surely, amongst so many she may look forsome converts, and be cheered by the hope that a propor-tion may be turned from the beer-house to the ways oftemperance.The encampment is rather small considering the num.
bers, but the sanitary arrangements are good, and watchedover by the regimental and staff officers, and have beenthoroughly inspected by the General. The ground occupiedby the tents is about 60,000 square yards; there is an in-terval of ten yards between each tent, and of twenty yardsbetween each battalion. The water is derived from springs inthe upper greensand formation of Redlands Bank. It ismuch contaminated by vegetable organic matter at its