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I turn to the last point first. I venture to think that the changing to the higher grades of alcohol. The method of problem of homogamy is essentially the same in relation to attaining these results is amply discussed by Dr. Pearl, both Metazoan and Protozoan, when we are considering but their application depends, as in all such matters, on its effect on the possible differentiation of species, and long practice, on training and on technique. It is open to pndeavouring to surmount Huxley's difficulty. Having Mr. Lister to assert that the methods adopted by Prof. shown myself that homogamy certainly does exist in one Worcester and Dr. Pearl failed in their object; it is not type of Metazoa, it was necessary that it should be shown open to him to insinuate that they have overlooked a disto exist in the Protozoa, and for one type this is what tortion the danger of which is obvious to the merest tyro Dr. Pearl has achieved.
in biology. But as he has not seen the preparations he Mr. Lister only obscures Dr. Pearl's statement
can only defend his assertion on the ground that the the persistency of type in conjugant Paramæcia. Had he measurements show marked evidences of the irregularities understood the constants dealt with by Dr. Pearl in this which would be produced by such distortion; and here part of his paper he would have seen that they were what we see at once the absence of thorough examination of in biometry are termed intra-racial and not inter-racial Dr. Pearl's paper by Mr. Lister. Only three of the fourvalues. The conclusions of Dr. Pearl have nothing to do teen series discussed by Dr. Pearl were from preserved with the inter-racial differentiation of gametes. Dr. Pearl specimens. The methods employed in the other cases were grew Paramæcia under much variety of environment, and different, but the many series were not mixed, as might found that the non-conjugant type was highly correlated be inferred from Mr. Lister's statement. Even including with the environment and the conjugant type singularly Dr. Simpson's measurements, made in a wholly different little affected by the environment. The whole inquiry was, manner, there is striking general agreement which is of course, undertaken to illustrate Weismann's position, absolutely inconsistent with the amount of variation which that while acquired characters not inherited, the would arise in the case of largely distorted forms. As environment can influence inheritance where one cell is Dr. Pearl himself savs, “ The good agreement is someboth soma and germ. In biology it has become almost thing which probably no biologist would have preaxiomatic that the Protozoa
inherit dicted before the measurements were made. One has been acquired characters on account of this identity, while in accustomed to think of Paramæcium as a soft-bodied the Metazoa the acquired character of the soma is at the creature likely to show great and altogether irregular very least not usually inherited. Dr. Pearl brings out the fluctuations." He then points out that Paramæcium is all-important point that the gamete in Paramacium is less variable than Arcella, Eupagurus prideauxi, not, like the non-conjugant cell, markedly influenced by Ophiocoma nigra, all of which organisms have a more or the environment. If Mr. Lister assumes that the characters less firm exo-skeleton. So much for the question of the acquired by the somatic cells are handed over to the influence of distortion. gametic cells, this is, of course, 10 sweep away entirely Mr. Lister next proceeds to the assertion that Par: the Weismannian hypothesis, and we may reasonably ask mæcium being a slipper-shaped ” (!) animal, there him for the quantitative proof of this assumption. The would be difficulty in measuring the breadth of the nonproof will at any rate go to the basis of the current hypo-conjugant as compared with the conjugant. He would thesis of “gametic purity.' Mr. Lister asks for evidence never have made this statement had he read Dr. Pearl's of any relation between external characters in man and paper, where the relative weight of length and breadth his gamete. The problem is not this, but the relation measurements .is considered great length. The between the external characters in two phases of a cell statement is further mere hypothesis, and not the experiwhich can be watched in passing from its conjugant to ence of one who has learnt to measure Paramecia. The non-conjugant conditions, and that is an entirely different difficulty of measuring the breadth lies with the conjugating matter. Even here biometricians will shortly be prepared individuals and not with the non-conjugating individuals, with an answer to the thus restated question,' although it for reasons amply set forth by Dr. Pearl. In the next has no relation whatever to Dr. Pearl's main point.
place. Dr. Pearl's main argument is drawn, not from the The remainder of Mr. Lister's letter would never have breadth, but from the length measurements, and, lastly, been written had he studied Dr. Pearl's paper or measured, had Mr. Lister followed the significance of biometric conas the latter has done, five or six thousand Paramacia. stants he would at once have seen that his hypothesis was The passage in Maupas was sufficiently familiar to me, and invalid. If the measurement of the breadth were affected is actually referred to, together with the previous work by a large source of error due to diversity of aspect when of Hertwig, Gruber, and others on differentiation by Dr. the Paramæcium is measured after death, there would be Pearl himself in his paper. But the differentiation of two little or no organic correlation between length and breadth. populations can only be demonstrated by an
Dr. Pear! shows that the actual correlation is markedly quantitative investigation of the means, variabilities, and higher for the non-conjugants than for the conjugants, and correlations of those populations.
be rendered is of an intensity which we might reasonably expect from possible or probable," as Mr. Lister held in August by previous investigations of similar organic correlations. a statenient conveved without detailed measurements in Lastly, Mr. Lister proceeds gravely to inform us of seven lines of print. In fact, Maupas savs he has never another source of error which he supposes to exist. Не found conjugants to exceed 225 H. while Dr. Pearl, says that Dr. Pearl's non-conjugant population consists of measuring immensely larger numbers, has found individuals
heterogeneous material, in which the variability would be up to 285 m, a value considerably in excess of what was increased by the fact that it contained all stages of inreached by the largest non-conjugant in his
dividuals in process of differentiation into gametes, It ments, 275 H It will be clear in the face of such results
seems astonishing to have to state it, but as a matter of that demonstration can only follow a study of large numbers fact no less than six control series of Paramacia, in which and their proper statistical treatment.
no conjugation at all took place, and which cach numbered Mr. Lister next proceeds to state that every practical 500 individuals, are dealt with by Dr. Pearl in his paper biologist knows" that specimens which have been pre
and compared with the series of conjugant Paramæcia. served and fixed will be distorted. Will the reader credit
The comparison between coniugants in a preparation and the fact that pages of Dr. Pearl's memoir are devoted to the nearest non-coniugants was made primarily to ascer. a discussion of the methods needful to avoid distortion ?
tain whether the cultures were in any state of local heteroVr. Lister's statement only amounts to the confession that
geneity, so that a spurious correlation between conjugants he himself cannot prepare undistorted specimens. The
would necessarily arise from their being drawn from the * practical biometrician knows that the distortion can
sme part of the culture. It was precisely of the nature be almost entirely avoided by instantaneous killing of the of the test used by Prof. Weldon and mrself to ascertain Paramäcia and the avoidance of diffusion currents in if locality influenced the value found for assortative mating
in man. 1 I will venture on a prophecy, rash as it may srem, but based upon a Further. the slightest pramination of Dr. Pearl's general experience of cell division where the mother and daughter cells have not been measured under like phases, that the correlation will not be found
diagrams would have shown Mr. Lister that the so-called to b: less than o's or more than oʻ7,
non-conjugant population is widely separated in distribution
from the conjugant, and only in the first days of the con
able influence on the distribution of temperature in the jugating fit is there an approach to a very slight secondary globe at any moment. mode at the conjugating type value. This may correspond Mr. Palmer suggests that if the earth's internal heat in the first days to a very small percentage of individuals is due to radium, the moon ought to be internally hot too, in a conjugating mood”
among the non-conjugants. and its volcanoes should be active. I discussed the quesThe skewness, however, measured by Dr. Pearl's tion of the moon's internal heat in my first paper (Proc. numbers, although slight, is the other way, showing that
Roy. Soc., A, vol. lxxvii., p. 472). I quote from that the non-conjugant population might best be conceived as paper :-“ It has generally been supposed that the lunar a distribution wanting a portion about the conjugant type,
volcanoes are extinct. But that view seems to rest chiefly and not as a population with an addition on that side, on an a priori conviction that the moon has no internal as it must be in the case of a mixture of non-conjugants heat. As Prof. W. H. Pickering has pointed out, all those and potential conjugants. Taking the variability of (a) all observers who have made a special study of the moon populations in which there were no conjugants, (b) popula- have believed in the reality of changes occurring there." tions of non-conjugants in which conjugants appear, and Even if there were good reason to be sure that the lunar (c) populations entirely consisting of conjugants, we have
volcanoes were extinct, that would still be inconclusive. the three numbers 8.7, 8.6, and 7.9, which suffice to show For it is believed by many geologists that volcanic action that non-conjugants in a conjugating population are prac- is due to the penetration of surface water to the het tically identical in variability with non-conjugants in a interior of the globe. Thus volcanic inertness may be due, non-conjugating population, i.e. the potential conjugate is not to the absence of internal heat, but to the absence cf a very small proportion of the population, conjugation surface water.
R. J. SIRUIT. taking place rapidly after the conjugating phase is reached.
I am sorry to have to reply to Mr. Lister in this fashion. I fear, to use his own phrase, he will still “ go away
The Rusting of Iron. unedified from the biometric side of the church.” But the time has come when vague insinuations based on no
In my remarks on “ The Rusting of Iron," published complete study of biometry must be replaced by some
in NATURE of September 27, I directed attention to the fact attempt to understand before criticism is passed. Above
that pure hydrogen peroxide solution was rapidly decomall, in a case like the present, a total disregard of the
posed by cast-iron, the latter becoming covered with rust. contents of Dr. Pearl's memoir and a suggestion that he
This, I stated, was, no doubt, due to catalytic action." has made errors and overlooked difficulties, which he has
In his friendly criticism of my remarks, Dr. Gerald T. actually, dealt with at every turn, is not to the credit of
Moody writes, in NATURE of October 4, that the metal the critic. A man who has spent years in studying Para
becomes covered with rust in a few minutes, is not, howmæcia, and made thousands of measurements after much
ever, to be referred to catalytic action, as Mr. Frierd consideration of the difficulties, may reasonably expect a
suggests, but is a consequence of the formation of acids different type of criticism from another who clearly has
by the oxidation of some of the impurities present in the attempted no such series of measurements, and whose
iron, and of the subsequent electrolytic action.
That acids are formed in the above manner may be reauthority for ex cathedra utterances may therefore be well cailed into question. Dr. Pearl's full paper is now in garded as certain. These attack the iron, forming minute type, and I do not think his reputation will suffer when
quantities of salts, which are decomposed by the oxygen of the paper is tested against the a priori criticisms which
the peroxide, yielding rust, and liberating the acid, which Mr. Lister has passed upon it.
can now attack more iron. In this way a small quantity Biometric Laboratory, University College, London,
of acid may be instrumental in oxidising a large quantity October 12.
of iron. In other words, the acid is a catalyses, and the reaction is analogous to the rusting of pure iron in the
presence of carbonic acid, oxygen, and water. The parRadium and Geology.
ticular acid or acids which will cause this catalytic action In Nature of October u (p. 585) two letters appear on
must depend, of course, on the sample of iron used.
For the same reason " the intensity of action will be this subject, in reply to which a few words may perhaps determined by the amount of acid formed on the surface usefully be said. Mr. Fisher's principal point is that if of each particular sample of metal, when in contact with the earth's internal heat is maintained by radium, there
the peroxide.” It is thus unnecessary is no room left for that shrinkage of the globe by cooling electrolytic action, as Dr. Moody suggests. This is supwhich some geological theories require. I think that the
ported by the fact that the same result may be obtained difficulty is only apparent. The duration of radium, it is
by employing pure iron, and commercial hydrogen peroxide generally agreed, is limited to a few thousand years. which invariably contains hydrochloric acid and other The supply must be in some way maintained, or there impurities, as Dr. Moody has himself pointed out. could be no radium on the earth now. Writers on radio
Würzburg, October 9.
J. NEwIOK FRIEND. activity are generally agreed that the radium supply is kept up by the spontaneous change of uranium into radium.
Since radium is found in ordinary rocks, we must, on the received theory, suppose that uranium also exists in
Optical Illusions. these rocks. It may be objected that uranium is never In your issue for September 27 a description of 30 pm entered as one of the constituents found by chemical
optical illusions furnished by revolving fans recalled in analysis. But, since the quantity to be expected is only my mind a very powerful illusion which I noticed 50 of the order of 1/1000th of i per cent., this is not sur- time ago, but for which I have not been able to furthy prising. It might be possible, by very special methods, to a satisfactory explanation. detect uranium in granite, but I think in any case we may A thaumatrope card (i.e. a card having a cage på?urd feel confident that it is there.
on its one side and a bird on its other side) vas mounted Everything depends on this initial supply of uranium. so as to turn round a vertical median axis at a speed It gradually passes into radium, and, after that, into some about two revolutions a second. inert form. The supply of uranium cannot last for ever. When an observer, viewing the rotating card rear Its gradual diminution must involve the cooling and distance of 5 feet or more, shuts one of his eves, the card shrinkage of the globe.
appears instantly to reverse its direction of rotation. A It may perhaps be thought in these circumstances the same time the axis of rotation appears to tile od toga illegitimate to equate the escape of heat per second from away from the vertical.) On reopening the closed of op the earth to the supply generated by radium in that time. illusion vanishes, and the card again appears to the "I pour le There is reason, however, to feel pretty sure that thermal true direction of rotation. equilibrium is practically established in a time small in I showed the illusion to several friends, who :l! Det comparison with the duration of uranium, so that the rate as to its striking perfection.
Dolo!" ('pic of change in the amount of the latter can have no appreci. I Vewcastle-on-Tyne, October 10.
ETHNOLOGY OF SOUTHERN INDIA." is lighted, and a dance solemnises the union. If she THIS book is a reproduction, with some additions sings back that she will not have him he immediately and quotations from published materials, of the
tries the name of another girl, and goes on doing so useful bulletins which the author, as curator of the
until he is successful. Madras Museum and director of the Provincial Ethno
The chapter on death rites, though badly arranged,
abounds in useful information. Madras supplies an graphical Survey, has issued during recent years. The arrangement of the book might be much
admirable field for such investigations, because pre
historic interments are numerous, and it would be improved ; full references to the authorities should have been given, while a bibliography would assist interesting to compare the usages of the earlier people the student in investigating a
with those of the present forest tribes. This Mr.
mass of unfamiliar literature. Even as it stands, the volume, with its
Thurston has not attempted to do, but his collection useful collection of photographs, supplies much
of facts will help European students to undertake the interesting material. The greater part of it is de
inquiry. voted to notes on marriage and death customs, and to
Å good illustration of the theory propounded by a miscellaneous group of notes on omens, charms,
Mr. E. S. Hartland at the York meeting of the magic, and the like. It is, as Mr. Thurston calls it,
British Association—that both magic and religion, in "a farrago," with which we can only deal by glean- transmissible personality, the Mana of the Melanesian
their earliest forms, are based on the conception of a of
the interesting facts which
races-is found in the belief that from the eye of a abound in its pages.
man of low caste a subtle matter proceeds which Thus in the notes on
contaminates food and other things upon which it marriage we find the
falls. The most remarkable example of black magic rite of confarreatio adopted by the Kammalans of Malabar in the case of polyandrous unions, a fact which we believe to be new to Indian ethnologists. The bride and her prospective bridegrooms, who are all brothers, are seated in a row, the eldest on the right, the others in order of seniority, and last of all the bride. The tribal priest solemnises the union by pouring milk into the mouths of all the parties to the contract. Much
evidence on the subject of fraternal polyandry is here collected, but for a scientific treatment of the subject we must await the forthcoming book on the Todas by Dr. Rivers. Numer
FIG. 2.- Meriah Sacrifice Post. From “Ethnographic Notes in Southern ous cases, again, are
India," by E. Thurston.
is found in the nude figure of a woman, with her feet Fig. 1.-Sorcery Figure. From Eih
of the bride to the turned backwards, a large square hole cut above the nographic Notes in Southern India," bridegroom and his navel, and the whole body covered with long iron by E. Thurston.
These are nails and Arabic inscriptions, which was washed
accepted en bloc ashore at Calicut in 1903. This figure, of which the evidence of marriage by capture, which
illustration is here reproduced (Fig. 1), Mr. Thurston unscientific in view of the evidence collected by supposes to be that of a
woman of the Laccadive Mr. J. G. Frazer to show that many of these Islands who was possessed by an evil spirit, “ which mock combats really intended to promote
was nailed to it before it was cast into the sea." the fertility of the soil, and are thus by analogy The fact that the feet are turned backwards certainly appropriated in the marriage rites. The hill people indicates its demoniacal character, and it seems more of Vizagapatam practise a curious method of select- probable that it represents some notorious witch; that ing the bride. Near their houses is a pit in which the nails were driven into it and the mutilation made the children are placed at night to keep them warm
in order to injure her, and the spells added to destroy in the cold season. In spring all the marriageable her magical power; finally, that the image was cast girls are shut up in one of these pits, and a young
into the sea as a means of getting rid of the sorceress. man who has already selected his bride with the The chapter on fire walking supplies many facts, consent of his parents' comes to the brink and sings but does not help us much to understand the methods out her name. If she likes him she comes out, a fire
and significance of the rite. The question has been 1 "Ethnographic Notes in Southern India." By E. Thurston. Pp.
discussed by Mr. J. G. Frazer in his recent book on viii + 580; 40 plates. (Madras : Government Press, 1906.)
“ Adonis, Attis, and Osiris," with the result that it
seems to be a survival of a rite of actual fire sacrifice. the past have been rectified, and the army medical In some cases the juice of the Aloe indica is said to service desires now, as it ever has done, to do its be used as a protective, but Mr. Thurston seems to duty and to deserve well of the country; but it believe that the indurated skin on the soles of men recognises that to do this it must advance and utilise who habitually walk barefoot over the roughest fully the progress of science and the increasing knowground accounts for many cases of immunity. A ledge of the profession of medicine which it represents recent description by Mr. D'Penha of the rite as it is in the military machine. Belore attempting to experformed at Travancore indicates that the length of plain these aspirations, it may not be uninteresting to time which is allowed to expire between the lighting of readers of NATURE to sketch briefly the evolution of the fire and the actual walking makes it an operation the army medical service froin less enlightened times of little danger. Mr. Partridge, who witnessed the to the present day, ceremony at Ganjam, describes the priest as going to The need of medical attendance with an army in the the fire-pits, which were a mass of red-hot ashes; field seems to have been always more or less recog. he sprinkled not more than a handful of incense on nised. In the days of the early Edwards, physicians to them; dipped his feet in a mixture of rice-water and surgeons are recorded as having formed part of and milk; and walked across one pit, leading another the levies which were taken into the field; but until man. He then dipped his feet again in the fluid the sixteenth century the proportion of such men to mixture, and returned by the other pit. The time he the whole force was very small, and even in the time took in walking across one pit was not more than of James I. we find no allowance or provision in the four seconds, and he took about four steps on the estimates for medicines or hospital appliances; these ashes. At least fifty persons in the crowd walked over details were supposed to be found by the surgeons the pits afterwards, but they went a little faster than themselves, for the cost of which a weekly stoppage the priest, and some of them only took two steps on of 2d. was made from the pay of the private soldier. the ashes. Their feet were not hurt, and they did It is not until the time of Marlborough that we find not wash them in any mixture before or after they any sign of prominence being given to the medical went over the ashes. 'I infer from the way in which service of the Army, but it was nearly fifty years lates the performance was conducted that
anyone that the first reforms in military medicine and sanitaeasily walk over the ashes, but that, if he goes like tion were introduced by Sir John Pringle, when the priest, he must dip his feet in the mixture both physician-general to the forces in Flanders. The long before and after walking across them.” Mr. Risley, series of wars in which England was engaged at the on the evidence from Bengal, came to the conclusion end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the ninethat when a narrow trench is used in the rite, it is teenth centuries produced many able men who letr possible for an active man to place his feet so rapidly their mark on the organisation of the Army; not the on the edges of the trench that he does not actually least remarkable among them Sir Jame: touch the burning cinders, and escapes injury. Prob- M‘Grigor, who, beginning his career as a militars ably many performances of the rite may be explained surgeon in 1793, became principal medical officer in in this way:
Portugal and the Peninsula under Wellington, and The chief ethnological curiosity of the museum is finished his official career as medical director-general the Meriah sacrificial post from Ganjam, used in the after the time of the great war. To him it was due blood sacrifices of the Khonds, of which the illustra- that, in the service of which he was head, order was tion is here reproduced (Fig. 2). It has suffered much evolved out of chaos, and that the army medical damage from white ants, and its original form is not service became an organised body, uniting in itself easily recognisable. It seems to represent the pro- the best traditions of two professions. boscis of an elephant to which the victim was bound. In the long peace that followed Waterloo, our military This, according to General Campbell, was one of the machinery rusted from disuse or decay, notably the most common forms.
supplementary services which are necessary to form an Mr. Thurston's book is arranged without any army. The arrangements which had been made and method, but it contains a mass of curious information the materials which had been collected in the old warwhich will make it welcome to European ethnologists. time for the care of the sick and wounded disappeared
with nothing to replace them, and, when the Crimean
War came, the best endeavours of the best men were MEDICAL SCIENCE AND ARMY
powerless to grapple with the problems which were to EFFICIENCY.
be faced. The lessons of old experience had been for
gotten, and the army medical service found itself IN N spite of the natural interest which the nation helpless, without means to carry out even an anti
takes in the Army, few people realise completely quated system of professional duty. At that time, the what is the work that the Royal Army Medical Corps army medical service consisted only of officers, divided has to do, how vast are the responsibilities committed into two classes, staff surgeons and regimental to it, and how dependent army efficiency is upon surgeons, though the whole were borne on one lisi, medical science. It is difficult to explain this want of and, up to a certain rank, were interchangeabi. interest and knowledge, but it arises probably from After a regimental surgeon had attained a certain the fact that much of the work which the medical seniority he was promoted to be a staff surgeon of the service does in the Army, both in peace and war, is first class, and was employed thenceforth in superof an unostentatious nature, and lacks the pomp and intendence and administration rather than in reziglamour which appeal so strongly to a public when mental or personal professional practice. Practically associating itself with the military organisation of all the officers of the medical staff had at one time the country. Apart from this, the medical service another been regimental surgeons, and presented in suffered for many years under grave official disabilities, varying degree the merits or demerits of that train. being systematically snubbed, and its professional and ing: The sistem of gazetting medical officers *** military pride injured. Such an attitude on the part individual corps had many advantages, both soci. the of highly-placed persons in the military bureaucracy and professionally, but it had undoubted drawhichas could not fail to dishearten its personnel and lessen The first and most important of these was that there any general enthusiasm or interest in its work bv toe
was a constant difficulty in utilising them elsewberr general public. To a large extent these mistakes of | than with their own corps, hence, if the public servir
was to be carried out, the total number of surgeons to unhesitatingly compel our commanders to encumber be maintained was excessive. Putting aside this ques- their fighting force with impedimenta and medical tion of economy and distribution of personnel, the provision for 10 per cent. of sick; but need this be? system was extravagant owing to the hospitals being The two great scourges of armies in the field are regimental also; this involved an unnecessary dupli- enteric and dysentery. During the late war in South cation of equipment, while, too, in many instances | Africa, these two diseases alone caused 77,000 the regimental surgeons, by this limitation of their admissions to hospital and 9200 deaths. Yet both sphere of duty, had a tendency to drift into a quasi- diseases are largely preventable. It is no exaggerroutine method of professional practice,
ation to say that for every man wounded in war In 1858, following the close of the Crimean War, twenty sick men are brought to hospital, largely from came the Royal Commission under the presidency of preventable causes. The unopposed crossing of the Sidney Herbert. The immediate result of its report Modder River lost us more men from enteric than the was the formation of the Army Medical School at battle of Colenso lost us from wounds. Surely if this Netley for the training of medical officers in military enormous waste of fighting strength is avoidable, the technical duties, also the re-modelling of the service prevention of sickness and disease in a field force is and the initiation of practical reforms in the adminis- of more importance than the mere treatment of its tration of military medical affairs, as well as the crea- victims. Thanks to the evolution in its organisation tion for hospital duties of the Army Hospital Corps, a and perfection of equipment which the Royal Army body of men possessing a complete military organisa- | Medical Corps now presents, the soldier of to-day has tion. In 1873 the system of regimental surgeons, a better chance of recovery than the sick or wounded except in the Guards, was abolished finally, and all man of the Peninsular or Crimean Wars; but the medical officers were consolidated into one staff; at the same cannot be said of the soldier's chances of consame time disappeared also the regimental hospitals, tracting preventable disease, for the organisation and their places being taken by general hospitals and equipment of the British Army as to disease prevention station or field hospitals. From this date all regi- remain little better than they were a hundred years mental organisation ceased to exist, the arrangements ago. The reason of this is, that army administration for medical affairs passing into the hands of the (medical) has not kept pace with the advance of medical officers alone. In 1877 authority was given to science, and has neglected to note early the influence medical officers to command the whole of the Army of Pasteur's work upon the problem of war. This, Hospital Corps, and also all patients in military hos- then, is the task still before the army inedical servicepitals, as well as other soldiers attached to them for how to translate scientific knowledge into an adminishospital duty. From this date the medical officers be-trative system for the efficient prevention of disease came invested with the responsibilities as to discipline, among troops in the field.
This would be easy training, supply, payment, and movement of their own enough if no regard were paid to the necessities of subordinates, similar to the responsibilities resting mobility and supplies, but those are points which we upon a commissioned officer in any other branch of cannot ignore; in fact, the whole object and aim of the service. In 1885 the appellation of the Army sanitary effort is to increase fighting efficiency and Hospital Corps was changed to Medical Staff Corps, lessen transport; therefore, in our campaign to reand in 1898 the Medical Staff and the Medical Staff duce the incidence of preventable disease, we need to Corp were further consolidated into an autonomous be careful not to add impedimenta to the Army with whole as the Royal Army Medical Corps of the present one hand even though we take some away with the time. As a necessary sequel to the functions and other. responsibilities of the Corps in its new organisation, its It is to the solution of this problem that the medical officers were given full army rank and title, thus corps of the Army is now devoting itself, and the completing the evolution of the medical service from principles on which it is working are briefly these :the chaotic state when its personnel were mere camp (1) the Army at large, from highest to lowest, must followers endowed with neither official status nor re- be educated to appreciate the need of radical responsibility to the completely autonomous and purely forms in the direction of preventing disease, and to military organisation of today. These recent reforms understand that these cannot be secured “ by order have embraced the granting of good pay, liberal terms only, but require personal effort on the part of each of service and study, with the abolition of the archaic individual and the recognition by officers of their own school of instruction at Netley and the substitution direct responsibility for the health of their men; of a Royal Army Medical College in London, where (2) the elaboration of an organised system for prothe officers of the Corps are brought into intimate viding safe and potable water for all troops when in touch with the newest theories and practice of medi- camp or on field service. The practical application of cine. In a word, the liberal and far-seeing policy of the first principle has taken the form of systematic those responsible for the reforms of 1899 to 1902 has instruction in the various garrisons of all ranks in revolutionised the position and moral of the Corps, elementary sanitation. These classes are conducted by with the result that its 1002 officers and 4189 non- officers of the Royal Army Medical Corps, whereby commissioned officers and men constitute a contented the importance of personal effort on the part of both and thoroughly efficient body of technically trained officers and men is enforced and the special training men, equipped and able to meet the needs of the sick of a certain number of men in practical sanitation and the wounded.
secured, so that each unit may have its own sanitary Is the task ended ? it may be asked, and have we squad for these special duties. Having these trained reached finality in our efforts to build up a medical men at their disposal, it is hoped that commanding corps at once worthy of the country and the Army of officers will find no future difficulty in the maintenwhich it is an integral unit? I'nfortunately no; there ance of their own lines and camps in conditions of is much yet to be done. Military history has, up to sanitary efficiency. For the provision of safe and to-day, been a history of the battle only, of brave approved water to each unit in the field the Royal deeds done and suffering bravely borne; but what of Army Medical Corps proposes to take full responsithe history of the means by which armies were bility, and to this end every water-cart, every filter, rendered numerically efficient and placed in a every heat steriliser, and all chemical reagents for the dition to fight? We have faced the problem of how routine purification of water will be in the charge to treat and provide for the sick and wounded, and of, and worked by, trained men of the Medical Corps.