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úcster 100 Years Hgo.

w Ifotal dokuimcttt ottings


w Ifotal dokuimcttt ottings [By IffENTOR.] A rather remarkable feature to be noted almost everywhere in the recent returns of the medical officers of health of local governing bodies is the increased death-rate, especially the mortality among children. No particular cause is assigned for this, but from various district reports we have such passages as (at Failsworth)-" The mortality among infants under five years of age has been exceptionally high at Bootle, the deaths were 147, or at the rate of 33 3 per 1,000, this being very much higher than in the previous month. The increase was accompanied by enormous mortality among children." Out of the 147 deaths, 62 were those of children under five years of age, and the cause was diarrhoea and dysentery. One councillor ascribed the death-rate to the Council having allowed the question of con- verting privies into water-closets to flag. At Widnes the medical officer reported that during the past month there had been 103 births and 98 deaths in the borough. Of the deaths, 57 were those of children under one year of age, and 19 those of children between one and five years of age. The birth-rate was 33-2, and the mortality rate 31'8 per 1,000. During the same period 13 cases of typhoid fever, and four other cases of infectious disease were notified, and there had been three deaths from zymotic diseases. Councillor Smith, acting-chairman of the Health Committee, in reply to Councillor Davies, said that the cases of infectious disease were largely drawn from property on which nuisances existed, and which the committee had been unable to get remedied. He was sorry to say that many property owners did not value the health of the town, and they were assisted by several members of the Council in setting the Health Committee at defiance. And so on in regard to many other localities, similar stories are told. Rhyl, as almost everyone knows, has developed immensely of late, with the result that the influx of visitors is such as to crowd the railway station to an extent that at times there is scarcely standing room. The Urban District Council, I am glad to see, are moving in the matter. At their recent monthly meet- ing it was proposed that the council petition the London and North-Western Railway Com- pany to enlarge the station, as the present accommodation is very inadequate for both goods and passenger traffic, which had grown beyond the limits of the accommodation in both departments. Already a petition had been prepared by tradesmen for presentation to the company. It was unanimously decided to send the petition at once. At the Bangor City Council the other day, according to the minutes of the Sanitary Committee, it appeared that the Local Govern- ment Board stated that they could not entertain the application of the Council to borrow E500 for purchasing furniture and providing a disinfecting apparatus for the Borough Infectious Diseases Hospital until the Council gave an undertaking not to treat cases of smallpox at the hospital.—On the recommenda- tion of the committee, the surveyor was directed to apply to the Port Sanitary Authority for permission to use their floating hospital for the treatment of any case of smallpox that might occur within the borough on condition that the council undertake to treat any fever cases other than smallpox or cholera that might occur within the jurisdiction of the PortSanitary Authority on terms to be mutually agreed upon. As shewing the views entertained by practical men on the subject of I water-finding' by experts, it is to be noted that at the Congress of the Sanitary Institute on Thursday last, in the section set apart for this special purpose, Dr. Thresh spoke on Water Supplies for Rural districts, and the means of protecting them from contamination.' He pointed out that there was always more or less risk involved in p.well boring either with regard to the quality or quantity of water procurable. A skilled hydrologist should always be consulted before deciding upon attempting to obtain water from such a source. In fact, wherever there was any uncertainty about the quality or character of the water procurable, an expert should be consulted. But," the speaker continued, by an expert I do not mean the advertising expert who professes to find water by aid of a hazel twig or other similar means. My experience of such gentlemen is not sufficiently encourag- ing to enable me to recommend them; and public bodies who may be considering whether or not they should engage the services of a water-finder must bear in mind that the Local Government auditors have expressed very pronounced opinions as to the illegality of payments made for such services or for work undertaken upon their advice." Last week I gave an instance from the Brain- tree Workhouse of extraordinary neglect to report the death of a woman who had been dead for over twelve months, the case being confused with another of the same name. This week another item of a somewhat similar nature reaches me from Burnley, where at the Guardians meeting the clerk mentioned a case in which a man paid a weekly sum to the guardians for the main- tenance of a child in the workhouse. He was given a receipt for each payment, but recently took it into his head to visit the workhouse and ask to see the child. Then, to everyone's dismay, it was discovered that the child had been dead some time. The man now applied for repayment of zCl3 6s. wrongfully paid since the child's death. This the guardians acceded to, but refused to grant his demand for com- pound interest at 4 per cent. The Corporation of Glossop have under their supervision an institution known as Wood's Hospital, at the head of which is a matron. This lady seems to have given umbrage to some of the councillors, and among others the Mayor; and at an adjourned meeting of the Town Council, a motion was brought forward to rescind and refer back to committee a resolu- tion previously adopted for her dismissal, on account, as was alleged, of her rudeness. She was also alleged to have insulted the Mayor. The matron, however, was not without her friends. One of the aldermen asserted that another alderman had caused all the mischief at the hospital, he having made charges against the matron, 'had called the hospital a doll's house, and had said that the nurses had nothing to do but dress up and go about.' The accused alderman warmly denied the statement. On a vote being taken, the motion in favour of the matron's dismissal was rejected by sixteen votes to four. A proposal that an investigation be held in reference to the charges made by the Mayor against the matron, and that the chair- man of the committee state the precise grounds upon which the matron was dismissed, was defeated. The matter was allowed to drop, after nearly two hours' discussion. The Stafford Corporation Sewerage Works, which have cost X45,000, have been recently opened. The work has taken three years to complete, and something like 16 miles of deep main sewers and 11 miles of branch sewers have been laid. The sewage-is first treated at the sanitary depot, where a destructor and sewage pumping machinery and reception tank are erected; thence it is pumped to a farm half-a- mile away. This land was purchased from Lord Stafford for £ 11,000. Here the sewage will be treated by precipitation and filtration on the land. The opening ceremony was performed by the Mayor, who entertained a large number of the public at luncheon.





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--.or BUCKLEY.







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