A SOCIAL SCOURGE. (Northern Advocate, 29 October 1917)

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a social scourge imiss rout asseverations ministerial refutation replying in the house of representatives to the statements made in miss ettie rout letter on the subject of venereal disease published in saturday advocate as given in the times the minister of defence sir james allen said certain statements in this article i believe to be wholly incorrect he would refer to one such statement in a discussion on the subject general richardson has laid down and the high commissioner approved the following propositionsthat properly licensed houses under medical supervision should be provided in england that the law of segregation for infected soldiers should apply also to women he had no information nor had anybody in his office that general richardson or the high commissioner or anybody els had authorised licensed houses mr c h poole auckland west it is a very serious matter sir james allen said that he hid wired to general richardson with regard to the matter the article also stated that general richardson had authorised miss rout to write and publish it he doubted that very much he wanted to remove some of the anxiety that might be caused by the publication of such an article he deprecated any paper causing unnecessary alarm by publishing uch an article hear hear they did not come to him and ask if the article should be published or whether it was correct or not it was perfectly correct that there was a good deal of venereal disease in england and he knew from communications from general richardson and the high commissioner that every step they could take was being taken to minimise the evil he had been in communication with the imperial government on the matter but he was not able to give their reply which was confidential he wished to assure the public that everything that could be done was being done the minister then read the following statement by surgeon-general henderson director-general for medical services on the question it is possible that miss rout may have taken some particular month and compared the statistics for a short period instead of considering the total statistics for the year there are usually from 300 to 330 venereal cases in the venereal hospital at codford belonging to the new zealand forces in france in the division the admission for venereal disease have been lowequal to about 30 per 100 as regards the reinforcements arriving and the complaints of infection contracted en route since the system of prophylactic treatment on board ships has been introduced these have been reduced to a very small number indeed captain thompson nz mc of a certain troopship reported that on return from leave at capetown where there is the greatest danger of contracting venereal disease 60 men who exposed themselves to inspection reported for treatment and no cases developed all efforts are being made to prevent infection the general officer commanding the new zealand expeditionary force in england has the fullest authority to take such measures as are considered most suitable to cope with the venereal problem including the issue of prophylactics to the men on leave the question of controlling the women in england is a matter for the english people and the war office as regards the issue of pi-ophylactic outfits to soldiers in new zealand our present system of proyhylaotics in camps and on board ships is it is considered efficient and satisfactory in this country the admission for camps for the first eight months of last year was 32 per 1000 whilst this year it was 22 per 1000 only notwithstanding the fact that all venereal cases presenting themselves for enlistment are at once taken into the forces and treated at the present time there are 17 returned soldiers being treated it quarantine island for venereal disease a member out of how many sir james allen out of 11000 or 12000 who have returned of course there had been some there before but they had been cured and let go continuing general henderson statement sir james allen said the latest returns from egypt show that there are 33 patients in hospital suffering from venereal disease being an admission rate of less than 10 per 1000 that he added was the statement of surgeon-general henderson though it was not altogether pleasant reading he deemed it right to make the whole facts public so that the press might see that there was exaggeration in the statement made by miss rout


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