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[Extrait from Report of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture for the fiscal year 1912.)
AN EXAMPLE OF THE BENEFITS OF MILK IMPROVEMENT. A remarkable instance of the value of a wholesome milk supply in promoting health is afforded by the experience of the past two years at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md.
A few years ago, at the request of Paymaster Samuel Bryan, United States Navy, who was and is charged with the provisioning of the academy, the bureau tested with tuberculin some of the dairy herds from which milk was being obtained under contract. The discovery of tuberculosis in some of the herds, together with other bad sanitary conditions, led Paymaster Bryan to undertake the establishment of a dairy herd for the academy. By his request the bureau selected the animals for such a herd early in the past fiscal year, and has continued to give assistance and supervision in the management of the herd.' Since October 1, 1911, this herd has been supplying milk to the academy., For the first two months of this period it was necessary to continue a portion of the contract supply, but since then the entire supply has been furnished by the academy herd.
Paymaster Bryan has compiled figures showing the health of the midshipmen for one year before and one year since the installation of the academy herd. Taking into account only illness of a digestive or intestinal character, and counting each day that a midshipman was sick or excused on this account, it is found that during the year from October 1, 1910, to September 30, 1911, with milk from outside sources, the "sick days” numbered 1,598, or an average of 133 a month, while for the following year, with milk from the academy herd, there were only 296 "sick days," averaging less than 25 a month. For more than two months (including September and October, 1912) there has not been a single case of illness of the character mentioned. The number of midshipmen at the academy was practically the same each year, ranging from about 750 for the greater part of the year to about 250 during the summer.
The great decrease in illness from digestive disturbances is attributed entirely to the better quality of milk, as other dietary conditions have remained unchanged.
A chart showing graphically the figures above given was exhibited by the bureau at the recent International Congress of Hygiene and Demography in Washington, and at other gatherings, and attracted much attention from hygienists.
Thereupon the committee adjourned to meet to-morrow, Saturday, December 7, 1912, at 10.30 o'clock a. m.
COMMITTEE ON NAVAL AFFAIRS,
Saturday, December 7, 1912. The committee this day met, Hon. Lemuel P. Padgett (chairman) presiding
STATEMENT OF DR. CHARLES F. STOKES, SURGEON GENERAL,
UNITED STATES NAVY.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, we have with us this morning the Surgeon General of the Navy.
The first item is on page 75, “Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Medical Department," and the language is the same, I notice, Doctor, but the amount is increased from $430,000 to $510,000. Will you please explain the necessity and the nature and character of that increased appropriation?
Dr. STOKES. In 1912 there was appropriated $460,000, while for the current fiscal year but $430,000 has been appropriated, so that this year we are trying to run the Medical Department on $30,000 less than was appropriated the year before. We are planning to provide for an increase of 4,400 enlisted men, which would call for an expenditure, according to our previous experience, of $30,000. In addition, we are providing for the equipment of new ships, ships on original commission. For instance, it is believed that during this coming fiscal year there will be 2 battleships commissioned, 8 destroyers, 9 submarines, 2 colliers, 1 gunboat, 1 river gunboat, and 2 submarine tenders. The original outfits for these vessels will amount to $20,000.
Mr. ROBERTS. Will you please tell us what the original outfit consists of ?
Dr. STOKES. The original outfit consists of surgical instruments, surgical dressings, medicines, apparatus, etc. Necessarily the outfit must be very complete, because a battleship in acting singly may be left to its own resources. Not only are dressings provided, but all sorts of appliances such as, splints. Then, in addition, we must have an outfit of drugs, which is elaborate. We have to have the pharmacist's paraphernalia as well. For a single battleship an outfit such as I refer to costs something like $3,500.
Mr. ROBERTS. Does the outfit include an operating table ?
Dr. STOKES. An operating table, hospital furniture, and all that sort of thing.
Mr. ROBERTS. It costs $3,500 for a battleship?
Dr. STOKES. Yes, sir. We are planning a new policy; that of having the hospital ship with the fleet, a supply ship, to cut down very materially the drug supply allotted to each ship, and to add to the dressings. They have always been short of dressings, and I have felt very anxious on that account, because in case of a big disaster we might not be able to properly provide for the wounded as we are