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"Ifocal (Sobernmcut fottings

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Ifocal (Sobernmcut fottings [BY MENTOR.] Compared with many other towns, Chester is to be congratulated on its efficiency in sanitary Matters. This is no new theme, as I have had Occasion several times to remark; but I feel bound to repeat it the more I read the health statistics every now and again published in regard to other parishes. It is almost im- possible to believe at this time of day-the close of the nineteenth century-that almost every town of any pretensions in the United Kingdom should not have got rid of the nasty midden System. Yet I find at St. Helens the medical Officer reporting to the Health Committee 54 cases of infectious diseases during the fortnight, including a long list of houses where typhoid fever had occurred, adding that in all the cases the houses had foul privy middens attached. These things should not be, and I think that if the Chester Town Council could pride them- "elves on nothing else, and in respect to which the ratepayers should pay cheerfully, it is the ^fcner in which they are daily and hourly the city of its dust and refuse. TJ the fortnightly meeting of the Manchester rd of Guardians a large increase in the out- Was noted, and an opinion was expressed at it was owing to the dispute in the engineer- trade. The Board adopted a suggestion of the General Purposes Committee that the Chorlton and Prestwich Boards of Guardians be com. tounicated with in regard to a proposed combi- nation of the Boards for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the Infant Life Protection Act, 1897, should such combination be deemed advisable. Forden (Montgomeryshire) is not a large parish—population somewhere about 800 acreage under 6,000—and it is not to be sup- posed that it can afford to pay large salaries. But the Rural District Council seem inclined to ) cut these matters pretty fine. A short time ago, Owing to the resignation of Dr. Thursfield, they advertised for a medical officer of health for the district. The salary paid to Dr. Thursfield was <645 per annum, and the members of the Council decided to effect a saving by advertising the Post at R25. The Local Government Board wrote declining to sanction the appointment at euch a salary. At the recent meeting Mr. W. Pritchard moved that they raise the salary to £ 35.—Mr. J. Davies seconded.—An amendment Was proposed by Mr. T. Holloway that the salary remain at £ 25.—This was seconded, but on being put to the vote was lost.—A subse- quent motion that the salary remain at £45 was also lost, and it was resolved to write to the Local Government Board, asking their sanction to the appointment at a salary of £ 35. The Manchester School Board have been dis- cussing the physical effect of night classes, which gave rise to a sharp passage of arms between the Rev. Canon Nunn and Dr. Wood- cock. The School Management Committee recommended the adoption of the suggestion of a sub-committee which was appointed last month, that in view of the large number of dull and defective children requiring special in- struction in Manchester, centres be forthwith Established in suitable localities for their education. The reverend Canon objected to e practice as pernicious to the children, and eostly, for beyond the mischief to the children there was the over-pressure to the teachers, many of whom would be much better for a rest in the evening. He styled the pro- posal retrogression, not progression, and desired to call the attention of parents to the matter. An inducement was held out by the offer of prizes, but he advised them not to allow their children to go to school three times a day.-Dr. Woodcock hoped parents would be discriminating enough to recognise that Canon Nunn was not an impartial judge in this matter. He had made statements about injury to the health of the children which could in no way be sub- stantiated, but which on close observation could be disproved. He asserted that the children, the parents, and teachers even liked it, and characterised Canon Nunn's assertion as a deliberate attempt to damage the evening school work by throwing a suspicion of physical injury upon the children which no one bad ever proved to exist. Those who looked carefully and without prejudice at what had been accom- plished in Manchester by the evening schools would come to the conclusion that the work merited the encomiums of those interested in it. This led to a call for a withdrawal, but Dr. Woodcock simply qualified it by saying it was his opinion,' and the resolution was subse- quently agreed to. Scientists as well as Local Government auditors have thought fit to decry the powers of the divining rod' in rather vigorous fashion of late, the subject being, perhaps, brought more prominently before the public by the refusal of auditors to pass bills of payment for the services of the diviner or water-finder. Scientists pooh-pooh the whole thing as an im. posture, but we have all learned to recognise that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy, and it is refreshing to note how scientists are being con- founded in this matter by what must be accepted as stern facts. Many cases may be cited on a par with the latest that comes from Bulawayo. A letter is published from a cor- respondent there who describes the operations of a dowser' employed by him, and, while he admits his recent scepticism, considers the bona fides of the magnetic powers of this simple twig to have been fully proved. He says Having sunk on the spot located through the medium of the divining-rod, I have at a depth of thirty feet struck the water; whereas my neighbour, at considerable expense, two years ago sank on the same line and only thirty yards away to a depth of forty-five feet without any result whatever. I am now convinced of the great expense which the rod may save in sink- ing for water." The Daily News a short time since devoted an article to the subject leaning strongly in the 'dowser's' favour, and cited many prominent and well authenticated instances wherein his powers had been demonstrated to the full in the face of engineers, specialists, and geologists who had failed. Educated and perfectly practical people are in favour of it, and the rod holds its own even among those who sit in academic chairs. Besides, what more is needed as a gurantee of good faith than the offer of most of these 'diviners' of any standing in their profession, who undertake to sink the well on the terms of no water, no pay ?' We have it recorded that the Anglo-Bavarian Brewery Company' bored for 140 feet, without success, under the guidance of the engineers, and for only 40, with perfect success, under the guidance of a dowser. One of the public vaccinators under the Chorlton Union has been drawing the pointed attention of his Board to the fact that there is a good deal of inefficient vaccination being performed in the Union. He says: Parents are led to believe that one vesicle would give immunity from smallpox equal to the protection afforded by the kind of vaccination insisted upon by the Local Government Board by the public vaccinators. The result may be very disastrous in the near future, and if anything can be done to induce the public to avail themselves of careful and efficient vaccination it ought to be done by those responsible for the maintenance of the public well-being. There is doubtless a growing dislike to vaccina- tion with humanised lymph, though with proper care there is no danger in the practice. The doctor suggested that an extra sixpence per case should be allowed for the use of animal lymph, which was agreed to. What was, how- ever, a curious feature in the discussion, arose when a medical member of the Board sug- gested that all infectious disease was due to insanitary conditions; when they had made all areas sanitary there would be an end to the need for vaccination, and another medico retorted that the assertion was the most utter nonsense that ever was spoken in this world by a medical man. His theory was absolutely ridiculous. No matter what their sanitary conditions were, if smallpox got into a district it was aureto spread.'—When doctors disagree

DISTRICT AND PARISH COUNCILS.

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