4 NOVEMBER 1916, Page 23


[To TEL EDITOR or THE " SPECTATOR.") SIR.—Your article under this heading is written from imperfect information. The subject is a large one and difficult to discuss in a letter, but there are no new facts. I attended a Conference at Brussels in 1898, to which delegates were sent by almost alt civilized Governments, and its insuperable difficulties were then made pretty plain. To take one only, the fact that the woman in a great proportion of cases does not know that she is infected, and that this may remain unknown unless she is carefully and minutely examined. Believe me, the Committee which has this subject under consideration does not lack experience, and if the suppression of venereal disease could be effected by even drastio measures there would not be many opponents among the medical members. I went to Brussels in 1898 thinking that the objections to stringent legislation in England were mainly sentimental or political, and that if these could be set aside great sanitary reform might be possible. I came away satisfied that the most stringent laws had not justified themselves. Even then the Scandinavian States were enforcing compulsory notification and treatment, the only indisputable results being some grave social scandals. Who is to denounce the clandestine prostitute? The doctor? But if the woman is already under medical treatment what can be gained? It is the class that do not know that they are infected or desire to conceal the fact, and would therefore not go to a doctor, who constitute the danger.—I am, Sir, &c., A. Monza OP THE NATIONAL COUNCIL Iva