The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 12
Gentlemen,-The following Report is a statement of the present condition of the City, as far as I have been able to ascertain from local authorities and actual observation.
My best thanks are due to those gentlemen who have so readily supplied the information for which I was seeking. I have in most instances put as a foot-note the source whence the information is derived.
Your Town Clerk (Mr. Massey) has shown great willingness to assist me, as likewise the Government Surveyors, your City Surveyor, the Provincial Treasurer, Government Observer, Mr. M'Gregor, C.E., Captain Hutton, and Mr. Allan (Immigration Officer).
I would call your attention to the fact that very many of the houses in the City are positively not fit for animals to dwell in, and that until this state of matters is remedied, we shall always have a high rate of mortality, in spite of good drainage and sewerage.
I would advise that no one should be permitted to build houses possessing less than three rooms, and those should be ventilated according to sanitary rules.
The law for ventilation should also be laid down for public buildings.
I have reason to believe that many of our hotels are overcrowded, and unprovided with sufficient ventilation.
The removal of our breathed air is as essential to health as the removal of our sewage.
Another factor in the causation of disease is a bad (i.e., ignorant) system of nursing, and a want of judicious feeding and bathing.
Our present hours of schooling, too, are badly arranged. It is highly prejudicial to health that children should be obliged to hurry back to school immediately their mid-day meal is swallowed, as is necessitated under the present system. Upon another occasion I shall enter mere fully upon this matter.
Your obedient Servant,
Geo. W. Cole.Dunedin, January, 1875.