[back] Tuberculin

[Extract from 1912 book] LEICESTER: SANITATION versus VACCINATION BY J.T. BIGGS J.P.

CHAPTER  111:  Tuberculin and Tuberculosis.
CHAPTER 112: The "New " and the "Old " Tuberculins.
CHAPTER  113: Tuberculin Treatment.
CHAPTER  114:  Tuberculin Dispensaries.
CHAPTER  115: The " British Medical Journal " and Tuberculin.
CHAPTER  116:  The Royal Commission on Tuberculosis.

CHAPTER  111:  Tuberculin and Tuberculosis.

Having shown how tuberculosis is spread by vaccination, it remains to consider the experiments on tuberculous patients by means of tuberculin now being so widely practised by members of the medical profession.

We already know, by painful experience, the devastation wrought upon the human race by the "Great White Plague "—consumption. The death-roll of this fell disease is said to be over 60,000 annually in England and Wales alone. If any specific can be found that will arrest its mortiferous ramifications, we ought to welcome it with outspread arms.

In 1890, Professor Koch, of Berlin, announced his discovery (?) of tuberculin, and, in common with all other kindred toxins and sera, the medical world forthwith hailed its appearance with enthusiasm. Those of us who have seen the disastrous results following vaccination, in the dissemination of tuberculosis, and other diseases, may reasonably hesitate to accept all that is claimed for tuberculin as a "cure."

Shortly after it was announced, test experiments were carried out in Berlin, but, unfortunately for both the discovery and the discoverer, from November,   1890,   to  February,   1891,   the  deaths of no fewer than 123 selected cases were reported in the "Zoophilist," of 1st May, 1891 (page 18). After this, both Koch and his tuberculin fell under a cloud.

The "Old Tuberculin" has now been supplemented by the "New Tuberculin," or rather "Tuberculins," for whilst there were only two of the "Old," there are already eleven or more of the "New."

The "Lancet," Vol. I., 1908, pages 481 and 482, publishes "A Lecture on the Treatment of Tuberculosis by Different Kinds of Tuberculin," by Nathan Raw, M.D., M.R.C.P., Lond., F.R.S., Edin., from which the following excerpts are taken :—

" Working on  the  hypothesis that the  human body is attacked by two varieties of tubercle, which may be present in the body at the same time, and which, generally speaking, are antagonistic to each other, I have devoted my attention within the last few months to the preparation of tuberculins for the treatment of these different lesions. After a fairly complete experience, I have come to the conclusion that Koch's tuberculin R. has little or no healing effect in phthisis pulmonalis, and when we remember that it is manufactured from human tubercle, if my theory is correct, it is exactly what we would expect."

Dr. Raw says he has, therefore, prepared a "special tuberculin," made from a "typical culture of perlsucht, . . . very carefully sterilised and standardised," which he thinks will get, over the difficulty, and the results are to be published in due course. Then he has tried a "tuberculin prepared from a pure culture of bovine tubercle," supplied by Professor Calmette, of Lille. These results are also to be published later on. He significantly adds :—"My tuberculin should only be used in early cases, and, if possible, in conjunction with open-air or sanatorium treatment."

He proceeds: —

"With a view to produce immunity against human tubercle in children, especially in those who have been exposed to infection from a consumptive father or mother, I have lately been working with the serum of tuberculous cattle. I have purchased several dairy cows suffering from tuberculosis of the udder, and have obtained, with the kind co­operation of Professor H. E. Annett, a large amount of the serum of these cows. ... I believe that the serum of a cow which has suffered from bovine tuberculosis will confer such immunity when injected into a child as will suffice to protect him against an attack of human tuberculosis. ... In any case, the serum is quite harmless, and will only be used with the full consent of those parents whose children have been exposed to infection. . . . Many of us had experience of the tuberculin introduced to the profession by Professor Koch sixteen years ago. It was used in a great many cases of phthisis and other forms of tuberculosis without discrimination. ... I well remember, after obtaining it with great difficulty, injecting several cases of lupus. The reaction was terrific, and from notes of one of my cases I find that the temperature ran up to 105 degs., the pulse 140, whilst the inflammatory reaction on the lupus itself was most intense. The patient complained of a hot, parched, burning sensation all over his body ; in fact, felt he was going to die. In the course of five days he developed acute tuberculous meningitis, and died within a week. ... In four cases of phthisis in which I used it the patients were made rapidly worse; in fact, the effects were so serious that the remedy was very quickly dropped by the profession. We now know that the only fault of the tuberculin was its dosage. It was a powerful remedy, and too large a dose was administered without the slightest scientific knowledge as to its action."

This open confession, "without the slightest scientific knowledge," is an undeniable proof how human victims are used for experimental purposes.

At the International Congress on Tuberculosis, held at Washington, 1908, Professor Calmette stated  that "his  tuberculin  C.L.  was  very well borne by tuberculous patients, and, whilst not curing tuberculosis any more than any other tuberculin, it evidently delayed the progress of the disease, and endowed the organism with resistance   to   the   infection."—"British   Medical Journal," Vol. II., 1908, page 1289.

In a paper on " The Great White Plague," by L. W. Andersen, printed in the " Sunday Herald," of   12th   June,   1910,   he   asks:—" What   possible virtue there can be in inserting a poisonous substance into the body of a person, which that person must at once eliminate or succumb ?"

Mr. Andersen also quotes a resolution passed by the International Congress of Hygiene and Demography (Vital Statistics) at its Madrid sessions:—

"Inasmuch   as   tuberculosis   is   easily transmitted by vaccination when it is done directly from the calf, we ask that in all nations represented at this meeting the practice should be adopted of using only the virus of calves which have been examined post-mortem and pronounced to be free from tuberculosis."

The failures of tuberculin are accumulating thick and fast, and the causes are not far to seek. The only satisfactory feature is, that the rival vendors of tuberculin are tending to destroy one another. The "mixture" itself is being diluted by glycerine and water, but while it is doubtful whether this is any improvement on the old "polygenous tubercle bacilli emulsion," there are many eminent and competent medical observers who look askance at the whole of this so-called "treatment." The numerous kinds of "lymph" which do duty for vaccination will soon be out­numbered by " tuberculin " preparations.

CHAPTER 112: The "New " and the "Old " Tuberculins.

The following illuminating list is from "The Varieties of Tuberculin," in the "Lancet," Vol. I., 1908,   page  802 :—

"The   preparations   which   are best known in this country are—first, Koch's old tuberculin, which is sometimes referred to as tuberculinum Kochi ; secondly, Koch's new tuberculin, or tuberculin T.R. ; thirdly, bacillen-emulsion, or emulsion of bacilli; fourthly, pulverised tubercle bacilli ; and, lastly, the recently-introduced Calmette's tuberculin-ophthalmic reagent. The old tuberculin is prepared from four to six weeks old glycerine broth cultures of tubercle bacilli, boiled for an hour, evaporated down to one-tenth, and then filtered so as to remove the bacilli themselves. The new tuberculin, tuberculin T.R., is prepared by drying living virulent cultures in vacuo, grinding them up into a very fine dust, and after extracting certain soluble constituents with saline solution, the residue is rubbed up with water to form an emulsion. 'Bacillen-emulsion' is prepared from pulverised bacilli, without previous extraction, with water, equal parts of glycerine being added, so that one cubic centimetre contains five milligrammes of bacillary substance. Pulverised tubercle bacilli are used for making emulsions for opsonic and other tests. Galmette's reagent is a solution in sterilised water of the precipitate obtained from old tuberculin by alcohol, so as to obtain a solution free from glycerine. Other preparations which have been tried comprise Kleb's tuberculocidin and antiphthisin, Hirsch-felder's oxytuberculin, Hahn's tubercolplasmin, Beraneck's tuberculin, Landmann's tubercolol, Maragliano's water extract, and Denys's tuberculin B.F. (bouillon filtre), while Spengler writes favourably of a filtered bouillon from bovine bacilli described as P.T.O. (Perlsuoht tuberculin original)."

For  those  whom  the  preceding  does  not offer a sufficient choice, Dr. Landmann,  at page 1044, Lancet," Vol. I., 1909, tells us that:—

" Recently Koch has introduced a new tuberculin B.E. (Bacillen-emulsion). Assuming that tuberculin acts in the same way as the other vaccines, the preparation B.E. should prove the most satisfactory of all the tuberculins."

In the "British Medical Journal," 21st January, 1911, Vol. I., page 124, Dr. Cecil Bosanquet, writing on the preparation of tuberculin, says :—

"The old tuberculin (' T.' or ' T.O.A.') is made by growing the bacilli in a fluid medium, filtering off the organisms themselves and concentrating the filtrate to a small bulk. It thus contains the poisons formed by the bacilli in their growth on an artificial medium. It has been analysed, but the essential toxic principle is still undeter­mined.
    A peculiarity, indeed, of tuberculin is that it is not very toxic to healthy animals, whereas it is rapidly fatal in minute amounts to those which are infected with tuberculosis. It seems that the essential poison of the disease is formed by the interaction of two separate bodies. Its action may be compared with the process which has been called 'anaphylaxis.' "

With   reference   to   the   new   tuberculin,   Dr. Bosanquet writes :—

" The second form of tuberculin (T.R.) is produced by grinding up the actual bodies of the bacteria, and dissolving or emulsifying them with water; it contains the poisonous substances present in the bacilli. Its action differs somewhat from that of the old tuberculin, and it is, therefore, different in composition. . . . We cannot say that we know anything definite about it."

This statement shows that as little is known about the "new" as the "old" tuberculin. In 1908 the "old" was being administered without "the slightest scientific knowledge," and "its essential toxic principle" was "still undetermined," while in 1911 nothing "definite" was known about the " new."

The danger of all this ignorant experimentation on human beings is illustrated by the following translation of anexcerpt from Metchnikoffs "Immunity in Infectious Diseases," page 87:—

"The serum of the blood of many animals will destroy the red corpuscles of a different species. This demonstration was afforded during the period when attempts were being made to transfuse  the  defibrinated  blood  of  mammals, especially of the sheep into man. This practice had to be abandoned in consequence of the difficulties resulting from the solution of the human red corpuscles."

This is a serious indictment by an unimpeachable authority, and one which ought to arrest the attention of the experimenters themselves as to the hazardous nature of   tuberculin.

In the "Lancet," Vol. II., 1911, page 838, appears an article on "Dr. Carl Spengler's 'I.K.' Treatment for Tuberculosis," which contains the following:—

" Since Professor Koch  first introduced tuberculin for the treatment of tuberculosis, several modifications of that substance have been made and experimented with. Dr. Carl Spengler, whose researches on the subject are well known, has more recently made trial of a derivative of Koch's original tuberculin, which he has named ' I.K.,' which is a clear solution rendered durable by the addition of carbolic acid and sodium chloride solution. It has a twofold action—anti-toxic, which neutral­ises the poisons produced by the bacillus, and is, therefore, directly anti-febrile ; and, secondly, a lytic or bactericidal action. Dr. Godfrey gives brief notes of the cases of eight patients whom he had treated by this remedy. His results are rather startling. . . . At the termination of the course of treatment, all the patients were either in ' perfect health,' ' perfectly well,' or 'quite as well as usual,' and one had been ' medically examined for insurance and accepted.' He does not say whether 'I.K.' had been tried in other of his cases with less wonderful progress. We are moved, however, to point out that this preparation has been tried by competent observers, who have entirely failed to obtain the results claimed by Dr. Spengler and Dr. Godfrey."

The article refers to Dr. Spengler being presented by his admirers, on his fiftieth birthday, with a complete set of his works, which are curiously described as "a valuable addition to the present knowledge of tuberculosis and syphilis, though we ask our readers to receive the results of employing 'I.K.' with reserve for the present." This conclusion is certainly rather disconcerting, and not over-complimentary to Dr. Spengler, but it throws a flood of light upon the hazardous and contradictory nature of the experiments that are being carried on by pseudo-medical scientists at the expense of suffering and credulous humanity.

In a letter to the "Times," of 11th October, 1911, Colonel Alfred S. Jones, M.Inst.C.E., commenting on a paragraph which had previously appeared under the heading, "The War Office and Bovine Tuberculosis," referred to the tuberculin test, and as to whether it could "be depended upon to give results of value to the fight against tuberculosis in the human subject," alluded to the tests "applied to the magnificent herd of King Edward VII., nearly all of which reacted," and said that the experiments of the Reading Corporation showed that "animals which had not reacted to the tuberculin test applied within a month of slaughter have shown extensive tubercular lesions."

Replying, in the " Times," to this letter, with a view of rehabilitating tuberculin, Dr. J. Hopkins Walters, Consulting Surgeon to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and member of the Sanitary Committee of the Reading Corporation, says that the tuberculin test when applied to cattle is, in skilled and experienced hands, "absolutely trustworthy," but his statements do not seem to uphold his assertion, for he says that:—

"A cow that has once shown reaction may, through the application of the test, become immune from reaction to further tests and yet be infected by tubercle. Again, some cows that are tuberculous fail to respond to the test. . . . Also that where 'the reactors often prove sound in every organ of their bodies on slaughter,' only means that they have not developed lesions so coarse as to be visible to mere ocular inspection. But the bacilli are there, notwithstanding. The microscope shows them. ". . . Ordinary inspection is not always sufficient, and when insufficient the results are dangerous."

This all proves the utter uncertainty of the "tuberculin" test.

CHAPTER  113: Tuberculin Treatment.

One of the latest works published at the time of writing is that on "Tuberculin Treatment," by Drs. Clive Riviere and Egbert Morland, 1912. Their introduction starts thus:—

" Tuberculin has had a strange and eventful history, but nowhere so strange as in England. Entrusted by Robert Koch in 1890 to a small band of clinical workers, who returned from Berlin with the precious remedy, it was tested by them in the large increasing doses then in vogue —tested and found, not indeed altogether wanting, but not fulfilling the expectations which had been based upon it, and after a trial of but a few months, discarded again as a remedy whose action was 'to promote the formation of cavities,  to lead to extension of the disease,' ' to exhaust the patient, and to cause loss of weight and strength.'"    (Page 11.)

The desire of the writers, as expressed by themselves, is to clear away all differences and difficulties of treatment, and to provide a vade-mecum which is to be the "guide, philosopher, and friend" of the medical profession on this subject.    They say :—

" The  study  of  tuberculin treatment has  hitherto  been  rendered  difficult by   the   lack   of   a   text-book   bringing   both methods thus objectively before the reader. This has been the chief hindrance to the appreciation of tuberculin at its proper value, not indeed as a panacea for all the baleful effects of Koch's bacillus, but as a specific remedy capable, if properly used, of doing good in most manifestations of tubercular disease. . . . The confusion arising from the number and variety of preparations of tuberculin on the market; the mental difficulty of grasping the dosage in its various guises—these fears the writers hope to allay and the difficulties to simplify. But the chief and central aim of their book is to take tuberculin treatment out of the field of doubt and controversy, and to place its principles and practice alike on a firm basis." (Page 15.)

How far these two medical gentlemen have accomplished the object with which they set out may be gathered from what they term "results." They say :—

" The writers have decided to give no statistics of the results of tuberculin treatment in phthisical patients. This self-denying ordinance has been dictated by several considerations. In the first place, it has been done recently and well by Latham and Inman. In the second, statistics of cure are of very questionable value in a disease such as phthisis, in which there is so strong a tendency to spontaneous arrest, and in which even the necessity for any sort of treat­ment is difficult to assess. And in the third place, there are certain available statistics of a. different but more convincing character.   .   .  ." (Page 167.)

Now, if their work was to settle the question decisively, and establish it on a firm basis, surely every available source of strength should have been tabulated. The omission is, of itself, ominous. They proceed to buttress up the tottering structure thus :—

" But statistics apart, certain results may be said to be well established by , clinical experience. The first and most striking of these is that phthisis treated with tuberculin before it has become open—i.e., before it has been exposed to the risk of secondary infection— remains closed. The importance of this fact, on which there is practically unanimous opinion, can hardly be exaggerated. It is true that the same result has been claimed for hygienic. treatment. Bandelier regards the fact as being, so well established that he refrains from giving tuberculin to these patients because it is unnecessary. It is also true that the vis medicatrix naturae unfettered by art would have had the same result in a large proportion of cases—the Paris Morgue (quoted by Huggard) gives 68 per cent, of cures without the bias of any pet remedy—but there remains a proportion, it may be small, of closed pulmonary tuberculosis which will not get well, and with these tuberculin has been shown to be competent to deal. Early diagnosis—that is to say, really early diagnosis, before tubercle bacilli appear in the sputum-combined with specific treatment, ensures completely  against  a break-down.   .    .    "    (Pages 168 and 169.)

There is nothing very decisive or definite in a "treatment"  by  "tuberculin"  which   is  run  so very close both by "hygienic" and vis medicatrix naturae. If these can cure 68 per cent, of the cases, and there is only a "small" proportion left for "tuberculin" treatment, and even these must be secured "really early" before symptomatic evidence of the disease, there is a complete breakdown of the case for tuberculin. Under these circumstances, were it not so serious, it would be almost amusing to read the final clause :—

" Of all these matters the tubercular patient is the final judge, and misled as he was by the disasters of 1890-91, there is no doubt that his experience of tuberculin under the new conditions is making him willing, and sometimes even anxious, to submit himself to treatment with the remedy."    (Page 169.)   

If the unfortunate patient happens to be killed by the experiment, who is to deliver judgment? This book, which was to establish the "principles and practice of tuberculin alike on a firm basis," leaves the question even more undecided than before.

CHAPTER  114:  Tuberculin Dispensaries.

When presiding over the proceedings of the Preventive Medicine Section at the Congress of the Royal Institute of Public Health, held at Exeter on 25th August, 1902, Sir Henry Littlejohn (Edinburgh) struck the right note when, in closing a discussion on the question of compulsory notification of phthisis, he said (according to a report in the "Times" of the following day):--

 "he had never seen a cure of consumption in a labouring man. He emphasised the importance of the results obtained in the diminution of consumption by ordinary sanitary reform. In order to cope with the disease, more should be learnt about it and its habits."

It is lamentable to think that, instead of development on the sure lines of ordinary sanitary reform, tuberculin dispensaries are being established all over the country. They are, in reality, "tuberculous" dispensaries, but the sooner they are dispensed with altogether, the better both for the unfortunate victims who attend them and for the health of the population at large. Medical opinion is by no means unanimous as to the benefit of these institutions, and, even if it was, that would be no reason why they should be established. The whole question of "tuberculin" treatment is in the region of ambiguity and doubt.

Dr. Halliday Sutherland, writing from the St. Marylebone Dispensary for the Prevention of Consumption, to the "British Medical Journal," of   16th   September,   1911,   says:—

"Sir   Clifford Allbutt, Sir Lauder Brunton, Sir William Osler, and Dr. Arthur Latham have condemned the claims of tuberculin dispensaries on two grounds—that the results are obtained in early cases of Stages 1 and 2, and that the diagnosis is unreliable. At these dispensaries the tuberculin reaction is regarded as specific. Clinically, as anyone can prove for himself, it is present in typhoid fever, diphtheria, syphilis, pneumonia, and measles. Again, Arloing, whose experiments extended from 1882 up to his death a few weeks ago, demonstrated that a healthy guinea-pig will not react to tuberculin, but that a guinea-pig inoculated, with the toxins of the typhoid bacillus will give a typical reaction. We also know that 70 per cent, of the men in a German cavalry regiment reacted to tuberculin. ...
    It is exactly because it is unjustifiable and strongly to be deprecated that cases in Class 1 should be described to the general public as cases of consumption. At these institutions all the above cases would give a reaction, receive a course of treatment, and no doubt add to the list of 'cures.' "

Dr. Klein, referring to tubercle bacillus, at page 351 of  "Micro-Organisms  and  Disease,"   says:—

"Koch and many other observers have shown that both in scrofula and lupus tubercle bacilli occur, and that with both these materials general tuberculosis can be induced in guinea pigs,   But since these two diseases are, in the human subject, well-marked disorders, distinct from pulmonary tuberculosis, it is necessary to assume that the tubercle bacilli in the three diseases possess some functional differences. To say that lupus is a form of tuberculosis of the skin does not cover the facts, since real tuberculosis of the skin does occur, and is totally different from lupus ; so also scrofula is not merely tuberculosis localised in the cervical lymph glands, since in many instances it does not lead to pulmonary and general tuberculosis, whereas the true tuberculosis of lymph glands does so."

These words of Dr. Klein are worthy of the earnest attention of those in the tuberculin cult. Dr. Klein also considers that the tubercle bacillus is "aerobic" ("Micro-Organisms and Diseases," page 90), while Dr. H. V. Knaggs classes it as "anoerobic" ("Microbe—Friend and Foe," page 64). Dr. G. G. Bantock, M.D., and Dr. C. K. Millard seem to favour the theory that in many cases of consumption the disease precedes the appearance of the bacillus. So that nothing is specific, excepting the dominant feature of uncertainty.

The foregoing is sufficient of itself to prove that these institutions are working on erroneous and unreliable lines, that they will accomplish nothing good, and after the expenditure of huge sums of money will end in failure.

CHAPTER  115: The " British Medical Journal " and Tuberculin.

The " British Medical Journal," of 6th July, 1912, contains an article, at page 35, on "Tuberculin Treatment," from which the following excerpts are taken :—

" The gradual re-entry of tuberculin  into the therapeutic field has called forth a number of guides, of all nations, who desire to point out the way of safety, and the pitfalls of danger, to all those who seek to employ it."
    Tuberculin treatment has at more than one period been taken up too enthusiastically and dropped too abruptly, and even now there is a manifest tendency in some quarters to vaunt its powers to a far greater extent than the collected evidence of good observers would seem to warrant. By slow degrees a better knowledge of its mode of action has been attained, but at best this knowledge is still limited within narrow bounds; and much of the theory which serves to guide our lines of thought is speculative."

Referring to Dr. Sezary's experience, the writer says :—

" The immunity afforded by one strain of tuberculin   does  not  hold  good   when   another strain is introduced, a new process of immunisation having to be set up in each case. Immunity so produced does not prevent the development of the tuberculous poison itself if introduced artificially.    .    .    .
    The experience of observers with regard to the use of injections during periods of tuberculous activity and fever differs widely. . . . The early case and the chronic consumptive in whose lung the process is quiescent have been found to benefit greatly, but there is abundant evidence to prove that harm rather than good is liable to follow its indiscriminate use in other stages."

After noticing two inquiries recently made by medical journals-the "Medical Klinic," No. 1, 1910, in Germany, and the "Hospital Stidende," No. 4, 1912, in Denmark—the "British Medical Journal," referring to Saugman's Sanatorium, says :—

" The results obtained by tuberculin were sometimes astonishingly good ; sometimes it was apparently quite inactive ; and in several cases its use was followed by complications, such as pleurisy, haemorrhage from the lungs and intestines, and aggravation of pulmonary, laryngeal, and intestinal tuberculosis. Many preparations of tuberculin were in use, including Koch's tuberculin (old and new), bacillary emulsion, endotin, tuberal, and Denys's tuberculin. The question whether tuberculin is suitable for ambulant treatment is answered in the negative with no uncertain voice, and the tale of accidents, which even treatment within the walls of a sanatorium has not been able to avert, is held to indicate that this treatment should be limited to institutions where its every phase may be under close scrutiny and control."

The article thus concludes:—

"The report, taken as a whole, gives the impression that tuberculin is a two-edged sword, the wielding of which in untrained hands must be followed, sooner or later, by incidents disastrous to the patient and damnatory to the good name of the physician and the remedy. On the other hand, employed by those whose respect for its potency is considerable, tuberculin may effect wonders astonishing even to the physician."

. No further evidence is needed as to the dangerous character of the use of tuberculin. Who is to know whether the "two-edged sword " is being wielded by "untrained hands " or otherwise until proved by the fatal and irremediable result?

CHAPTER  116:  The Royal Commission on Tuberculosis.

We have seen that these experts have, on their own showing, administered the serum "without the slightest scientific knowledge as to its action," and that they do not "know anything definite about it." They appear to feel no compunction for all this wicked and haphazard experimentation on human beings. Why do they not carry out control tests of a really effective nature ?

If they have any confidence in their so-called remedies, and really wish to arrive at scientific truth, the whole value of anti-toxin, tuberculin, and all other serums and vaccines, could be easily proved within the space of twelve months by the starting of two institutions, exactly parallel in conditions, equipment, and other respects, with the single exception of serum being used in one, but not the other; the whole to be carried out under the supervision of a committee of practitioners and laymen. Does the fear of the downfall and disgrace, and the consequent loss of prestige, prevent this being done? There is not the slightest doubt what the result would be. The non-inoculation institution would yield the best records by far, just as the diphtheria statistics of the Metropolitan Asylums Board prove that the cases not treated with  anti-toxin have an enormously lower death-rate than those that are treated with the serum.

In view of the proposals of the National Insurance Bill, it is impossible to leave this subject without referring to the Reports of the Royal Commission on Tuberculosis. Mr. J. H. Levy has most ably dealt with this subject under the heading, "The Government and Medical Research," in the columns of the "Individualist," for September-October, 1911, pages 61-3, from which I quote :—

"By the second section of Clause 15 of the National Insurance Bill, it is enacted that 1d. per annum is to be paid, out of the monies voted by Parliament, in respect of each insured person, towards defraying the expenses of sanatorium treatment ; but . . . the Insurance Commissioners may retain the whole or part of this money for the purposes of research. It is estimated that ... a sum of about £62,500 is placed at the disposal of the Commissioners for research purposes, wholly or in part, if they choose to divert it from the maintenance of sanatoria.
    What is this research work to be ? Is it to be such an inquiry into the causes of consumption, or the conditions under which it is generated and spread? ... Is it to be a search for the means by which consumption can be prevented—a search for methods and conditions of treatment which build up the vital energies of the individual, and increase the organic resistance to disease in both animals and human beings ? Or is research to mean the generation and spread of consumption throughout the animal world, including man, by expedients which lower the vitality and decrease the power to withstand disease—which, indeed, weaken the tenacity of life, and thus predispose to disease ?
.  .  .  The Commission was appointed in August, 1901, to inquire and report with respect to tuberculosis :—

(1) Whether the disease in animals and man is one and the same; (2) whether animals and man can be reciprocally infected with it; (3) under what conditions, if at all, the transmission of the disease from animals to man takes place, and what are the circumstances favourable or unfavourable to  such transmission."

The Royal Commissioners in their First Interim Report, May, 1904, tell us that their inquiry has consisted in  conducting experimental investigations" of their own. Their work has been entirely on the lines of the ordinary vivisectional "research," with experiments of the most disgustingly cruel kind, such as the feeding of animals with foecal matter, with sputum and diseased parts of consumptive and tuberculosis people and animals. . . . In other experiments conducted by the Commissioners, this poisonous matter was injected or inoculated directly under the skin or into the abdominal cavity. The result was, of course, that the noxious filth thus introduced into the cattle "gave rise at once to acute tuberculosis," or widespread disease of the lungs, spleen, liver, lymphatic glands, etc. ... In some instances "the disease was of remarkable severity." More than two hundred cattle were used in these first experiments.
    A Second Interim Report was presented in January, 1907. In this we have the narration of many more of these vile experiments on cattle, pigs, goats, guinea-pigs, monkeys, rabbits, rats, mice, hedgehogs, mongooses, cats, and dogs. The Third Interim Report, presented in January, 1909, gives details of similar cruel inoculation and feeding experiments, conducted by these Royal Commissioners with means towards which all of us were forced to contribute.
    The Final Report was presented this year. It shows that horses and birds have also been victims of these experiments. The Commissioners point out that the conclusions arrived at are based solely on their own researches. It is almost needless to say that they are irreconcilable with those arrived at by other investigators. Indeed, the contradictory nature of the results obtained by   vivisectional    experiments    is,    no    doubt,    largely responsible  for  the proposal   to   devote   a  further   sum to research in connection with consumption.
...   The   Commissioners   thought   it   desirable   to make   use   chiefly   of  Jersey   cattle,   because   these   are "remarkably   free   from   tuberculosis."    They   did   not, however,   .   .   .   inquire   why   Jersey   cattle   have   this immunity.     On   the   contrary,   having   obtained   these beautiful and healthy animals,  the  inquisitors  at once set about the destruction of their immunity from disease by  "testing"  them  with  tuberculin—that  is,   by  inoculating them with poisonous matter.   ...  .   .
    But Mr. Stewart Stockman, M.R.C.V.S., Chief Veterinary Officer  of  the Board  of  Agriculture  and  Fisheries, told the Royal Commission on Vivisection that cows in the very advanced stages of tuberculosis may not react to tuberculin if their temperature is already high.    (Q. 3,174.)    And the  Tuberculosis  Commissioners  themselves state,   in  their   Second  Interim   Report,   that   "in   some instances   marked   reactions   were   obtained   after    the tuberculin had been injected into monkeys in which no tuberculous   disease   was   found   on   subsequent   post­mortem examinations,  and,  on the contrary,  a reaction Occasionally  failed  to   appear   in   animals   which   were subsequently found to be extensively affected."
    The   cruelty of   these   experiments   is   shown   by   the results  which  the   Commissioners   have  recorded.     For example,  we  are  told  that  "in  some  cases  the effects of  the  injection  of the  bacillus  are very severe.  .  .  .The animal (cow) becomes ill.   It loses flesh, respiratory troubles   often   make   their   appearance,   and   within   a period varying from about twenty to fifty days the animal dies, or is so ill that it has to be killed.   .   .   .
    In concluding their report, the Commissioners urge that: food regulations be so "planned so as to afford better security against the infection of human beings through the medium of articles of diet derived from tuberculosis animals." They also recommend "that ;such measures should include the exclusion from the food supply of the milk of the recognisably tuberculosis cow."
    Now that human beings should avoid taking as food the flesh or milk of tuberculosis animals, is a proposition which needs no vivisectional experiments for its establishment; and that persons may rightly be held responsible at law for the sale of such articles of food, which is really a fraud of a very serious kind on their purchasers, needs no torture of animals for its demonstration. The loathsome cruelty of these Royal Commissioners is not only wicked in the extreme ; it is a stupid work of supererogation. But, in reality, behind the three questions which this Commission was asked to solve is another of more fundamental importance : How comes it that these animals are diseased ? How did the disease originate in them ? Let those who would answer this bear in mind the concluding words of Mr. Levy's essay, "The Passover and Vivisection" ("Politics and Disease," pp. 53-70):—" I believe that/future investigations in the field of pathology will show that not a few of the diseases which plague mankind are the natural fruit of the ill-treatment of our  'poor relations,'  human  and sub-human."

The proceedings of this Commission appear to have been even worse than those of the Royal Commission on Vaccination, and were not only a travesty of the serious and important duties committed to them, but also of common sense, and an outrage on the ordinary principles of humanitarianism.