Page images

purpose. While the expense of printing the back specifications, and in providing compensation for the holders of abolished offices, has in a great degree ceased, the income has not yet reached its maximum, as will appear from the following Table :

[blocks in formation]

Oct. to Dec.

1852 and 1853

1854 1855 1856 1857


2764 2958 3106 3200

1876 2044 2094 2028

888 914 1012 1172

319 618 510

72,911 | 47,599 25,312

deficit 53,86563,504 74,818 51,742 23,076 92,476 65,762 26,714 85,351 77,749 7,602

£ 379,421 306,356

Total apparent surplus, deducting deficit of 1854
Stamp-duty paid

73,065 67,060

Available surplus


The returns for the year 1857 show the effect of the general commercial depression of the country in that year. Though the number of applications increased, the ratio of increase fell off; and the proportion not proceeded with was unusually numerous. This was doubtless owing to the inability of the inventors to find the 201. which had to be laid down for the patent when the provisional six months had expired. For a similar reason the proportion of patents on which the third year's fee of 501. was paid was less than what had been expected from the former average. The income, which in the preceding year amounted to 92,4761., fell in consequence in the year 1857 to 85,3511.

The deduction which appears in the account for stamp duty requires explanation. In the year 1856 the clerk of the Commissioners made the discovery that he must strike off a large sum from the surplus of the previous years, for the forgotten item of stamp duties. This at once reduced a balance of 38,7481. to 36451. The duties paid were

For the years ending 1853, 1854, 1855 £35,100
For the year ending 1856






[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

A tax therefore amounting to the sum of 67,0001. has been levied on invention within these five years. This is a great grievance. In 1856 a committee was formed at the Society of Arts, with the view, among other objects, of procuring the abolition of so impolitic an impost. Lord Stanley, who presided over the committee, published a pamphlet in 1856, in which he delivers an emphatic opinion against the present system :

Equally indisputable,' he says, “is it that the taxing of inventions is an expedient never contemplated by the framers of the Act of 1852, and unjustifiable even in the utmost pressure of financial distress. The latter point, indeed, requires no argument. It is to superiority of mechanical skill that we owe, in great measure, the position of England among nations; and a large proportion of the leading discoveries, of our own and past times, have been made by men whose command of capital was small, and to whom the greater or less amount of fees payable on the patents they took out was a matter of importance. One discovery checked, or even retarded, by exorbitant imposts, may cause a greater diminution of wealth, which would otherwise accrue to the nation, than can be compensated by tenfold the gain actually netted by the Treasury. The worst censure that can be pronounced on a tax is that it should be wasteful—that for every 51. brought into the Exchequer it should cause the loss of 101.'

The tax will shortly amount to upwards of 20,0001. per annum. It is true that a surplus still exists. But the inventor should have the benefit of it. The falling off in the number of patents taken out in 1857, from inability to pay the fees, is a proof of the truth of Lord Stanley's observation, that discoveries are made by men of small capital, and shows how great is the check which an impost puts upon improvement. In the meanwhile the firstfruits of the accumulation should be applied to the erection of a suitable building. The small room which serves for the Library is completely choked. There is no place in which to exhibit the models. The warehouses are filled from the floor to the ceiling with the published specifications. It is with difficulty that the visitor can squeeze into these confined and dingy offices, which, inconvenient and comfortless at present, will in another year or two be altogether inapplicable to their purpose. To provide an edifice adapted to the wants of a grand commercial and manufacturing nation like ours ought to present no difficulties. But a more arduous and most pressing need is to devise some less costly and more certain mode of protecting the rights of patentees. A number of roğues are always hovering about the Patent-Office, like thievish magpies, with a view to pounce upon any promising specification, and discover, if possible, some discreditable evaLodging, Food, and Dress of Soldiers.



sion by which to rob the inventor of his rights. How few "persons would be able like Mr. Muntz to devote 80001. to the protection of their property! How many, if they were to venture perhaps their all, would like Mr. Heath surrender their life in the struggle! In short, it behoves the Legislature to consider if it cannot do more for the men who do so much for their country.

ART. VI.-1. Report of the Commissioners appointed to inquire

into the Regulations affecting the Sanitary Condition of the. Army, the Organization of Military Hospitals, and the Treatment of the Sick and Wounded; with Evidence and Appendix.

London. 1857. 2. The Formation, Discipline, and Economy of Armies. Ву

Robert Jackson, M.D., Inspector-General of Army Hospitals.

London, 1845. 3. The Influence of Tropical Climates on European Constitutions,

including Practical Observations on the Nature and Treatment of the Diseases of Europeans on their Return from Tropical Climates. By James Ranald Martin, F.R.S. London, 1856.

. 4. The British Army in India: its Preservation by an appropriate

Clothing, Housing, Locating, Recreative Employment, and Hopeful Encouragement of the Troops ; with an Appendix on

India. By Julius Jeffreys, F.R.S. London, 1858. 5. The Art of Travel, or Shifts and Contrivances available in

Wild Countries. By Francis Galton, F.R.G.S. London, 1856.

the question had been asked a short time since what body

of men presented the most healthy lives in her Majesty's dominions, the reply might reasonably have been her Majesty's Foot-Guards. Recruited, at the age of nineteen, principally from among the agricultural population, submitted to the critical examination of the inspecting surgeon, tried in wind and limb and tested at every point, the would-be soldier must be proved an athlete, or renounce for ever the hope of wearing her Majesty's uniform. Absorbed into the picked corps of the army; quartered either in metropolitan barracks or within a stone'sthrow of the palace of the Sovereign; clothed, fed, housed, and tended in sickness by the State; and only in the face of great emergencies required to brave the dangers of foreign service; the weak and incapable instantly weeded out from the ranks,-his does indeed seem to be a select life, with which no other among the labouring classes would appear to be comparable. As we see him on parade in all the pomp and panoply of war,





we view him with pride as worthy of that noble band that swept irresistibly before it the eagles of France, and, single-handed, at Inkermann, long kept the foe at bay, and saved two armies from destruction. Yet take the unhealthiest trades in England—the pallid tailor, as he sits at his board, or the miner who lives in the bowels of the earth---and it will be found that the percentage of deaths in their ranks is not nearly so great as in those of the magnificent Guards, pipeclayed and polished up to meet the eye of princes, but, alas! often little better than whited sepulchres. Such is the fact elicited by the labours of the Commissioners appointed to inquire into the regulations affecting the sanitary condition of the army. If the most favoured’ regiments furnish these disastrous results, it may be imagined that the condition of the rank and file, who take their turn in all climates, must be much worse ; but, strange to say, the contrary is the fact. This is shown in the following table, which gives the number per thousand who die every year among

the army

at home and among the male civilians of England and Wales at army ages :Household cavalry

11.0 Dragoon Guards and Dragoons

13.3 Foot Guards ..

20:4 Infantry of the line

18.7 Population of England and Wales, at army ages : Town and country population

9.2 Country alone

7.7 One of the unhealthiest towns at army ages : Manchester

12.4 According to Mr. Neison's calculation, the mortality of the Household Cavalry is 14, Dragoons, &c., 2}, Line 2 16, and Guards 313 times as great as the mortality of the agricultural labourers who are members of friendly societies. Well may the Commissioners, contemplating these returns, remark

That in war men should die from exposure, from fatigue, from insufficient supplies, is intelligible; or that the occupation of a town of 30,000 inhabitants by an army of 30,000 men, without any sanitary precaution, suddenly doubling the population to the area, and thereby halving the proportion of every accommodation, supplies, water, drainage, sewerage, &c. &c., should engender disease, is readily understood ; but the problem submitted to us is to find the causes of a mortality more than double that of civil life among 60,000 men, scattered, in numbers seldom exceeding a thousand in one place, among a population of 28,000,000, in time of profound peace, in a country which is not only

the The

the healthiest, but which possesses the greatest facility of communication and the greatest abundance of supply in Europe.'

In endeavouring to solve this extraordinary problem, the first question naturally asked is, Why the foot soldiers suffer a rate of mortality so much higher than the cavalry? They are recruited pretty much from the same source, and breathe apparently pretty much the same atmosphere; yet we find that the Foot Guards perish at nearly double the rate of the Life Guards. causes of this difference are mainly, overcrowding and the want of due exercise and employment. The chief diseases of the soldier are fever and consumption; the latter, or the English

• Death,' as it is but too aptly termed, being the chief destroyer. The deaths by pulmonary disease amount in the cavalry to 7.3 per thousand, in the infantry of the line to 10·2, and in the Guards to 13:8; whilst of the entire number of deaths from all causes in the army, diseases of the lungs constitute in the cavalry 53.9 per cent., in the infantry of the line 57.277 per cent., and in the Foot Guards 67.683 per cent. We are strongly inclined to believe that some portion of this extraordinary mortality from pulmonary disease may be owing to the atmosphere of pipeclay in which the Foot Guards, and indeed the Horse Guards in a njinor degree, live. In 1853, the year in which the mortality tables were made up, the former pipe-clayed their white trousers and fatigue jackets as well as their belts. Thus the fine dust must have been for ever entering their lungs, and Mr. Simon, in his recent Report affecting the health of special occupations, expressly states that the workers in potteries are among the most unhealthy artisans, in consequence of the clay-dust they are constantly inhaling in the course of their daily work affecting their respiratory organs.

It would appear that overcrowding is the chief cause of the disparity of the death-rate between the two classes of Guards. If we compare the extremes, we find that, whilst the FootGuards quartered in Portman Street barracks have only 331 cubic feet of air allotted to

he Horse-Guards at the Hyde Park barracks have 572 cubic feet; and if we take the whole force of Foot and Horse Guards, we find that in London the latter have the advantage of between one-fourth and one-fifth more air in their barracks. But there is another and very important difference in favour of the Horse Guard : his exercise is on the whole more varied than that of the Foot Guard. In the infantry, the drill only exercises the lower limbs and fixes the chest in one position; the grooming of a horse brings nearly every muscle into play, which tends to open and expand the chest. The broadsword exercise has the like effect. This



ach man,



« PreviousContinue »