Reference numberNLB/25/676
Alternative reference numberNLB/25 p404-405
TitleCopy letter from the Secretary of the Royal Society, to the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Date8 December 1902
DescriptionIn reply to the Under Secretary's letter of 29 November transmitting a dispatch and its enclosures from His Majesty's Commissioner in Uganda, the Royal Society Committee have carefully considered these documents and are presently unable to judge of the value of the proposal made in the dispatch, through lack of adequate information.

Whatever the exact cause of the Sleeping Sickness, there seems no doubt it is communicable from man to man. The proposal to combat the disease by isolation is therefore prima facie.

Dr Low is expected to arrive in England very shortly and the Committee proposes discussing the whole matter with him immediately on arrival. They then hope to be able to come to some definite conclusions which will be made known to the Under Secretary at once. Suggests that meanwhile it would be very desirable that one of the medical officers on the spot such as Dr Hodges, should be relieved of some of his ordinary duties in order to assist Dr Castellani in the enquiry with a view to the question of the exact method in which the disease is communicated, and to ascertain by experiment, whether some means of combating the disease in addition to isolation, may not be rendered possible.

Notes the query as to whether the Royal Society is prepared to assist in any way towards meeting the expenses of the isolation proposal seems to be based on a strange misapprehension. The grant from his Majesty's Treasury of £4,000 per annum has to be distributed over scientific inquiries of all kinds, including such expensive inquiries as expeditions. Using any part of this money, and of an insignificant sum of money belonging to the Society itself, to assist administrative remedial measures, would be to employ the money of His Majesty's Government for purposes which it was not intended.
Physical descriptionTypescript
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