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Gohebiaethau. THE L.C.C. AND MUNICIPAL MILK DEPOTS. To the Editor of CYMRO LLUNDAIN A'R CELT. DEAR SIR,-It was exhilarating to peruse the somewhat poetic effusion of Devonshire Cream in your last issue. I say poetic advisedly, because the writer has drawn rather heavily upon a vivid imagination consequently the statistics employed indicate clearly that he is a promising disciple of the Latter Day Saints of Reform-Municipal and Tariff, and should the position of Official Statistician to either body become vacant, his claims should not be overlooked by those responsible for such appoint- ment. Amongst his disconnected and irrelevant comments, he has in the exuberance of his enthusiasm found time to raise two points which require further notice, and I desire, with your kind permission, to trespass upon your space this week to reply to these. He implies that I stated it was legal to establish milk depots. This, Mr. Editor, is mere quibbling. If he cares to refer to my previous letter he will find that it is there stated that some local authorities are able to establish milk depots. It is known to all who have ever studied municipal affairs that the councillors are surcharged by the auditor, but it is equally patent that these surcharges are never upheld on appeal. But it is quite immaterial to the present controversy whether it is, or is not, legal to establish such concerns; for the fact remains, that they do exist, and must perform great service in arresting the Physical Deterioration of the Race, and a reduction in the rate of infantile mortality, if their development is not impeded by selfish traders whose one object is to deal in those articles which produce the greatest personal profits. In spite of "Devonshire Cream's" assertion, I still hold that the dairymen generally show considerable apathy in regard to the supply of any form of modified milk, and he himself supports my contention when he cries Give the children the milk obtainable." That is my point, and it is on account of these facts that I claim there is no inten- tion to enter into "unfair and unjust competition." Now, as to the effect of milk depots upon infantile mortality. For "Devonshire Cream's" special edification the Finsbury municipal milk depot, at the time of issuing the Medical Officer's report, was only nine months' old. If he disputes my word, may I refer him to that document itself, a copv of which he can see if he chooses to appeal to any of the Muni- cipal Reform councillors for that borough. It is palpably unfair to quote from a report which does not cover even the whole of the first year of the depots' existence, and to found arguments upon such tables as are found therein (and which must neces- sarily be incomplete), is worthy only of Devonshire Cream's first appeal to London milkmen. Now let me refer him to the official report of another milk depot—that of Battersea for the year ending March 31st, 1906. The depot at Battersea has been instru- mental in saving the lives of many infants. In his report, the Medical Officer gives the death-rate of depot-fed children at 105-7 per 1,000, though the depot children must not be regarded as normal in- fant population." They form a population of hand- fed babies, nearly 50 per cent. of whom are brought to the depot on account of ill-health." If your "Moderate" correspondent will further refer to Table I. of the same report he will find the following facts. The average death-rate (infants) in Battersea for the years 1895-1904 was 156 for 1905 it was 114, whilst the death-rate of depot-fed children for the same year was 105.7, which is a substantial decrease, even on the low general rate for the year. With the various other specifics which he pre- scribes for the reduction of infantile mortality, I heartily agree, but should like very much to know how many of these would be included in the pro- gramme of the party to whose standard he would have all London Welshmen rally.—I am, &c., WELSH CHEESE.


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