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TO THE EDITOR. Sir,—Your caution as to space limit in the matter of correspondence makes it necessary for mo to pass ovor much that I should like to have dealt with in Mr John McKeaguo's lettor on the above subject. It is a mutter of surprise to me that any man in these days should have the courage to claim rhat alcohol tends to prolong life, sefing that it has been proved up to the hilt tb>fc it has thi opposito effect. I may hore inform Mr MoKeague that I am in tlie habit of " making sure of ray facts" before making the™ public. Regarding that. " concoction "of the British Medic d Association Mr McKe'igue promised t> tell all about ifc, but failed in tho attempt. I will give tho information which he failed to give. Dr Norruan Kerr, Chairman of the British Medical Association Inebriates Legislation Committee in referring to this very " concoction " Fays : — " No misuse and misinterpretation of figures has ever been known to me at all approaching the persistent, shameless misuse and misrepresentation of one table issued in the British Medical Association enquiry notwithstanding the distinct statement in the report by the Committee of Investigation, that they had, " not in these returns the means of coming to any conclusion as to the relative duration of life of total abstainers and -habitually temperate drinkers of alcoholic liquors ; " and, since the publication of the report, by the Chairman, Dr Isambard Owen, by myself, and others. The misrepresentation lay in the assertion, " that the habitual drunkard ha 9 the advantage of the total abstainer by one year, and the temperate beats him by more than a decade." Dr Kerr then states " The explanation of these figures simply is that mo3t abstainers are comparatively young, abstinence as an organised movement is of recent origin, or, in other words, the average age of younger is less than the average age of older people. In the British medical report it is stated that when deaths under thirty years were excluded the average age of abstainers was about lour years more than the decidedly intemperate; and when deaths under forty were excluded, the average life of the teetotaller was one year longer than that of the free drinkers, aud move than five years longer than that of the intemperate." Would Mr McKeague kindly explain how it is that Insurance Societies have a special table and scale of premium charges for total abstainers, considerably lighter that those for moderate drinkers, if it be true as he says that alcohol prolongs life. I would commend for his careful perusal the very serious impeachment of alcohol and its injurious effects on the human system, by the greatest of living surgeons, Sir Frederick Treves, the chosen adviser of our King and his family, uttered on May 6th of this year, and a copy of which appeared in the Guardian supplement last Saturday. Also the Woolwich placard which appeared as an advertisement very opportunely in last night's Guardian.—l am, etc., W. L. Salter. Moore Street, July 15,1905.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6622, 15 July 1905

Word Count

DRINK AND LONGEVITY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXII, Issue 6622, 15 July 1905