Major Charles E. Wood ruff, Surgeon in U.S. Army, contributes a remarkable paper to the Medical Record, Dec. 17, 1904. In brief he says that the medical authorities, who have taught for years that meat eating and the drinking of alcoholic beverages are a curse to the white race in the tropics, are, to put it mildly, in error; that the “old soaks” stood the climate far better than the total abstainers. A careful study of the statistics proves beyond question, according to Dr. Wood ruff, that a total abstainer in the Philippines has slight chance of health. Among other things he writes:

“Now let us get down to the practical application of all this. It is reported that the president of Harvard University, in addressing some candidates for positions as teachers in the Philippines, told them that any one who drank alcohol need not apply, as only total abstainers would be accepted. What dreadful and deadly advice! I have been repeatedly called in professionally to see these teachers, and a more horrible condition of health. I have never encountered in any people as a class. They were anemic, neurasthenic, and enfeebled. A high percentage has broken down completely, though I haven’t the exact data. I only know personally that every woman among them whom I saw was in a wretched state. President Eliot would have had fever deaths and fewer people in broken health to account for if he had told them that no one would be accepted unless she promised to take a little wine with her meals. His fanaticism has had deadly results. It is dreadful to send women to the tropics to work any how. Ripley, the anthropologist, says it is next to murder; but to send them over without the wherewithal to combat the dreadful exhaustion’s is a felony. Almost all the women come home in a dreadful condition, even though they had the greatest care.”

“The great obstacle to restoring beer and wine to the canteens in the Philippines is the false attitude of the medical profession, who, without any facts, are asserting that the soldiers in the tropics should not have any alcohol, even though it might be tolerated in the canteens in the United States. This paper is written in great part to prove that it is really needed, and urgently needed, in the tropics, and the sooner it is supplied as a hygienic necessity the better it will be.”

He also asserts that the W.C.T.U. are indirectly responsible for a terrible loss of life among our soldiers by the abolishment of the army “canteen.”