THE BARRACK ROOM AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE.

  • Published on
    30-Dec-2016

  • View
    216

  • Download
    2

Transcript

  • 784

    with notes by Mr. Crookes, F.R.S., from the Chemical News.The work contains all that can be said upon such a subjectcapable of being comprehended by young persons, and iswritten in a remarkably clear style, as might have beenexpected. Mr. Crookes justly observes, that the chemistryof carbon includes the chemical history of all animal andvegetable substances; and the importance, therefore, to be-ginners in chemistry, of the subject discussed by Dr. Odling,cannot be overrated. We commend the work for generaluse by all young persons who are learning chemistry.

    BRIGHTON DRAINAGE.

    THE victory is won. Slowly, step by step, after a fight ofseven years, prejudice and ignorance have given way.Brighton sewage is no longer to be cast into the sea front-age. The Town Council have resolved to take immediate

    steps to carry the sewage to a distance from the town, toemploy a competent engineer to advise them as to the bestcourse to pursue, and to report proceedings to a futuremeeting. This resolution is the immediate result of theimportant conference between the representatives of thepublic meeting lately held at the Grand Hotel and theGeneral Purposes Committee, which is composed of ex-mayors and chairmen of other committees-that is, of thelite of the governing body. So recommended, the resolu-tion was very fully discussed. All the old arguments weremade use of, and the Report of Dr. Letheby was played asan important card in vain. It appears that, on the repre-sentation of the Brighton Observer, we have done that gentle-man an injustice in stating that he had already expressedan opinion as to the purity of the sea-water. For this weoffer our apology, and the more gladly as it appears, uponthe authority of one of the speakers, that Dr. Letheby ex-pressed an opinion to Dr. Douglas Fox three years ago, inhis presence,

    " that the sea frontage was the very last placethey ought to drain into." Of course, the usual misstate-ments were made. One gentleman described the sewer out-let as "a little bubbling of dirty water, discoloured byCoombe rock and chalk, which could not be detected fiftyyards away, and that, after the sewage had been penned upsix hours, the discoloration lasted but a few minutes."Yet this very discoloration was watched by another mem-ber of the Council from the Chain Pier, and was at thatdistance seen distinctly for thirty-five minutes. It is worthyof remark that no attempt was made to deny the statement ofone speaker, that at the present moment not more thanone-twentieth of the houses at Brighton are drained into thepresent outfall; and if so, it is obvious that when the wholeof the habitations of the town become thus drained, thestream of sewage will be as great in one hour as it wouldbe if the sewage of twenty hours were pent up now.Great exception was made as to the time of taking thesamples of water for analysis; indeed, it is waste of timeto show how difficult it would be to obtain specimens whichreally bear upon the subject. After all, this question ofdilution must be, to a large extent, a matter of opinion and oftaste. In the absence of direct evidence of sewage con-

    tamination, which, we believe, might easily be had, the ,following argument is extremely apropos. The county Ijournal says :-

    11 The position in which Brighton is at present placed re-minds us very much of the dilemma in which a brewerwould find himself should it become known that a man hadbeen drowned in one of his vats. The brewer might assurethe public that the man was not in the vat more than tenminutes, and some great professor of chemistry might makea hundred analyses of the contents and publish to the worldthat the beer did not taste of the man in the slightest de-

    gree ; nevertheless, the people would shake their heads-there would be a suspicion, a prejudice, against that brew.ing, and a considerable sacrifice would have to be made be-fore the prejudice could be removed."

    After a debate of nearly three hours, a division was calledfor, and the numbers were found to be equally divided.The Mayor said he felt that he had a duty to perform tothe town. Rightly or wrongly, the present system ofdrainage failed to satisfy the public, and was undoubtedly-the cause of great injury to the town. His vote, therefore,.would be in favour of the resolution. The inhabitants of

    Brighton owe a deep debt of gratitude to this gentlemanfor his firm expression of opinion. He has saved the repu-tation of the town and obviated the necessity for anyfurther agitation upon a question which the more it isstirred the greater the injury will be.

    THE BARRACK ROOM AT BUCKINGHAMPALACE.

    IT is a severe tax upon our patience to comment upon theantagonism so frequently displayed between the variousdepartments of the Government, whenever an object, re-quired for the public good, demands a certain amount ofyielding on the part of either, and mutual support. TheWar Office authorities deserve credit for their prompt en-deavour to alleviate the condition of the soldiers who, inthe barrack room of Buckingham Palace, have been com-pelled to sacrifice their health and comfort, if not their lives,to the exigencies of architectural effect. The evils, whenpointed out in these columns, were fully acknowledged, andimmediate steps were taken to effect the necessary improve-ments. Plans were drawn and approved of, and the expensehaving been included in the estimates, Parliamentarysanction was obtained for the course proposed. In placeof the six miserable holes, most improperly termed win-dows, since they let in no light whatever, six others, eachone nearly six feet square, and opening top and bottom,were put in. The internal aspect of the barrack room be-came light and cheerful, and the sanitary condition infinitelyimproved. No sooner, however, was the improvement carriedout, than down comes the Surveyor of the Board of Works,an authority apparently endowed with such imperial powersas to be able to extinguish the Engineers, the War Minister,the Commander-in-Chief, and even Parliament itself. Whatcares the Board of Works for the soldiers health and com-fort ? Is not the stone-work of the palace sacred ? Where isthe power that dares to touch a brick, and impair the con-sistency and beauty of their charge ? And so the order is.issued peremptorily for undoing all that has been done.Workmen are now in the act of removing the windows whichhave lately been put in, and those which give no light arebeing replaced. If need be, we are ready to argue that thehealth of the soldiers stands in importance before absolutearchitectural consistency; but in fact there is no such need.Windows are not unfrequently placed in the very positionoccupied by those which were put in; and every reasonableoffer was made to obviate objections. It was proposed tofasten down the bottom sash, and to obscure the lowerpanes of glass, in order to prevent the prisoners-for such,in fact, they are-from looking out. But all in vain. Archi-tectural congruity is inexorable down to the smallest de-tail. A blank wall behind those columns there must andshall be, and the soldiers may do as they can. We make afinal effort, and call upon Parliament either to insist thatits own orders shall be duly carried out, or to provideaccommodation for the men elsewhere.

    THE Annual Dinner of the Liverpool MedicalSociety was held last week, under the presidency of Dr.Macnaught, and there was a large gathering of the profes-sion on the occasion. Dr. Steele, the treasurer, gave anaccount of the progress of the Society, which appears tobe in a most prosperous condition.

Recommended

View more >