Baltimore Evening Sun (24 May 1913): 6.


City bank balances on May 30, as reported by the Municipal Journal:

National Marine Bank $310,768.64 National Bank of Commerce 211,722.53 Calvert Bank 117,716.60 The next highest bank 50,000.00

The city depositories are chosen by the Commissioners of Finance. The present Commissioners of Finance are:

The Hon. John M. Littig, president at the National Marine Bank. The Hon. Harry Fahnestock, director of the National Bank of Commerce. The Hon. James Harry Preston, vice-president of the Calvert Bank. The Hon. Richard Gwinn, vice-president of the Calvart Bank. The Hon. James F. Thrift.

In all there are 34 city depositories, and they had $1,740,071.68 on deposit May 20. The three banks represented on the Finance Commission had $640,202.85, or an average of $216,734.26 apiece, while the 31 not represented had $1,099,868.83, or an average of $35,479.64 apiece. The Commissioners of Finance serve without pay. Patriotic, self-sacrificing men!

Say what you will against Isaac, anyhow he don’t put his whole trust in sobs.—Adv.

The Hon. Mr. Tolson’s proposal that the city Quarantine Station be turned over to the Federall Government is not likely to inflame the Job Hounds to enthusiasm. Even in times of zymotic peace there are no less than 16 jobs at Quarantine, and their total usufructs come to $12,870 a year. To throw these jobs overboard, wantonly and without compensation, is an enterprise rather too devilish for the limited Councilmanic imagination. The Job Hounds are not in business for their health, nor even for the public health: their mission in life is the creation and distribution of jobs. To ask them to play false to that mission is to ask for a slice of the moon. In the whole history of Baltimore no City Council has ever abolished a job. The thing has been done by Legislatures, egged on by reformers and a scoundrelly press, but never by a City Council. The highest aim of the Council is to multiply and nourish jobs.

Beside, there is the difficulty that the transfer of the Quarantine Station to Uncle Sam would deprive the city of its only available hospital for the care of smallpox patients. That hospital, in the past, has done very good service, and it would be hard to find a site for a new one, to say nothing of the expense of building it. Property owners, even in the county, do not welcome pest houses. They yelled, if I remember rightly, when Sydenham was built, and they would yell even more if a new smallpox hospital were proposed. Down at Quarantine they have got used to it, and if they have not got used to it, they have at least come to the conclusion that they can’t get rid of it.

Meanwhile, and to change the subject, the inadequacy of the facilities at Sydenbam has begun to engage the attention of persons interested in the public health, and at a recent meeting of one of the medical societies Dr. John Ruhräh discussed it at some length. When Sydenham was opened it was the understanding, I believe, that extensions were to follow almost immediately, but these extensions still linger, and so the hospital has but 36 beds—18 for scarlet fever and 18 for diphtheria. That this is not enough is shown by the frequent crowding of the hospital, and by the fact that there were 950 cases of scarlet fever in Baltimore last year, and 1,036 cases of diphtheria.

Both of these diseases are transmitted by personal contact, and the isolation of patients is therefore essential. Given ample housing and this isolation is easy enough, but it is next to impossible in apartment houses, and wholly so in the slums. If we are ever to make any appreciable progress against either malady we must provide the needed isolation in public hospitals. So far we have not provided it. With 150 or 200 cases of diphtheria in progress at one time, and fully a half of them not properly isolable at home, we have but 18 hospital beds. And not one of these beds is for negroes.

Dr. Rurhäh, who has investigated the subject very thoroughly, believes that there should be one infectious diseases bed (setting aside the smallpox acconmodation) to every 1,000 of population—or, say, 550 for Baltimore. At present, as I have said, we have but 36, or less than 1-15 of the ideal. In London and Edinburgh there are 9 beds to every 10,000 of population, and in New York there are four. Boston has three. In Philadelphia the apparent accommodation is smaller, but the municipal hospital is being enlarged, and even as it stands it has room for many extra emergency beds. During the last winter it cared for as many as 400 scarlet fever and 130 diphtheria patients at one time. No less than 62 per cent. of all the cases reported in the city were sent to the hospital, and the Health Department, when the new hospital is completed, hopes to take care of 90 per cent. This will practically put an end to the home nursing of these highly infectious and dangerous diseases.

Our health problem in Baltimore, of course, is chiefly a part of our negro problem. The death rate amomg the negroes is nearly double that among the whites, and it is especially high in the department of infectious diseases. It is impossible for this to go on without raising the hazard among the whites. As Dr. Ruhräh said the other day:

A very large propprtion of the servants of this city are negroes, most of whom live in small, overcrowded houses under the most insanitary conditions, and * * * they go back and forth from their own homes, where there are frequently virulent infectious diseases, to the homes of intelligent and educated citizens, where they are in close contact with the entire family, and especially with the children.

And yet it is precisely the negro whose health we habitually neglect. The accommodation for him in the tuberculosis hospitals is very small, and there is no room for him at all in Sydenham. What is worse, every effort he makes to improve his housing is opposed with the utmost ferocity. When he moves out of an alley into a wider, cleaner street, he is driven back with the policeman’s club. He is not permitted to take poosession of streets emptied by the movement of the white population to the suburbs. The City Council devotes itself violently to keeping him within the pale, and overlooks entirely the high death rate that prevails there, and the consequent risk and damage to his white employers and neighbors.

Boil your drinking water! Watch McCay McCoy put it over again! Beware of Anderson! Swat the fly!

Keep your eye on Anderson, gents! He is up to some fresh chicanery! He is hatching some new plot against the R. D.!–Adv.