London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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London County Council 1920

Annual report of the Council, 1920. Vol. III. Public Health

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(iii) The Council should be the central organising authority for the services referred
to under (i) and (ii), and should be responsible for preparing such surveys of health services
in London as may from time to time be required.
(iv) Any exercise of powers by the Council as central organising authority should be
governed by scheme to be prepared by the Council after consultation with the City Corporation
and the metropolitan borough councils, and submitted by the Council to the Minister
of Health for approval.
(v) The Council should have power, by scheme, to appoint a health committee, of whom
a majority should be members of the Council and a minority persons of experience in health
matters who are not members of the Council, and to refer to such Committee such duties
as are set out in the scheme, including (should the Council hereafter consider such inclusion
desirable) any or all duties regarding the medical inspection and treatment of school children
at present standing referred by statute to the Education Committee.
(vi) The cost of the public health services of environmental or entirely local character
should be borne by local funds.
(vii) The cost of prevention of the spread of infectious diseases should be borne as to
not less than one-half by national funds and as to the balance by local funds.
(viii) In the case of the medical treatment of school children a charge should continue
to be made by the authority responsible for the provision of such treatment.
(ix) In connection with medical treatment provided by public authorities in cases
other than those under (vi.) to (viii.) inclusive above, the general principle should be recognised
that the cost (excluding expenses of administration) of such treatment should be borne, to the
extent of his ability to pay, by the person treated or by a fund, such as the insurance fund,
made up mainly by contributions of employers and employed.
(x) A Central Council of London Hospitals should be formed.
On the same date, the Special Committee were authorised to confer with other authorities and
bodies exercising health functions in London, with a view to the formulation of detailed proposals based
on these principles. Copies of the Special Committee's report and of the Council's resolutions were
sent to the Minister of Health, with a request that he would receive a deputation from the Council, and
also to the City Corporation, to each of the metropolitan borough councils, to the Council of King Edward's
Hospital Fund for London and to the metropolitan hospitals. The deputation was received by the
Minister of Health (The Rt. Hon. Christopher Addison, M.D., M.P.) on 23rd April, 1920, when he commented
favourably on the general lines on which, in the Council's considered opinion, the development
of health administration in London should proceed, and suggested that a conference between the Council
and the metropolitan borough councils should be convened to discuss the whole question.*
Diseases of

The following table shows tor the year 1920 the incidence ot the principal animal diseases so far as London is concerned:—

Disease.Number of outbreaks.Number of animals attacked by disease.
Glanders, including farcy311
Swine fever6-
Parasitic mange4691,201
match: ALTO ComposedBlock
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* The number of swine involved in these outbreaks was 157.
Glanders or
Glanders is the disease in animals which has caused most trouble and expense to the Council.
The London (Notification of Glanders) Order, 1906, required veterinary surgeons on becoming aware
that any horse, ass, or mule was, when it died, affected with glanders, to notify the local authority. The
Animals (Notification of Disease) Order, 1919, extended notification to all diseases of animals, and
applies to the whole country. The Glanders or Farcy Order of 1907 provided for the payment of
one-half value as compensation for animals slaughtered solely as a result of reaction to mallein. Full
value was to be paid when disease was not detected by the post-mortem examination, and the
maximum value for the purposes of the Order was £50 for a horse and £12 for an ass or mule. During
1916 only £197 10s. was so paid, and it was hoped that the disease had been brought under control, but
in 1918 and 1919 there was a disquieting recrudescence of the disease involving the slaughter of 76 and
39 horses respectively, and the payment of £1,026 and £648.
A conference was convened in March, 1920, by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to discuss
the adequacy of the compensation payable under the Order of 1907, having regard to present economic
conditions. As a result, the Ministry issued a new Order entitled the Glanders or Farcy Order of 1920,
which came into operation on 15th November, 1920. This provides for the payment of increased compensation
in respect of the slaughter of diseased animals, both for animals showing clinical symptoms of
glanders and for those slaughtered solely upon reaction to the mallein test. The increase, which
depends to some extent upon the adoption by the owner of precautionary measures, is accompaniec
by other extended powers to local authorities for dealing more effectively with the disease.
The Ministry pointed out that, in view of the progressive reduction in the prevalence of
glanders since the Order of 1907, the number of outbreaks having been reduced from 854 in 1907
to25 in 1919, "the present appears to be an opportune time in which to make a final effort to
* Report of the Special Committee on Health Administration in London. No. 2029. Price 2d.

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