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Author Australia. Royal Commission on Secret Drugs, Cures, and Foods

Title Secret drugs, cures and foods - Report of the Royal Commission on
Published [Sydney] : W.A. Gullick, Govt. Printer of the State of N.S.W. for the Govt. of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1907


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
Description viii, 455 pages : illustrations ; 34 cm
Series Parliamentary paper (Australia. Parliament) ; 1907, no. 28
Contents 1. Copy of Royal Commission (v) -- 2. Authorities consulted (vii-viii) -- The report - Introduction (1-8) -- Division I. Prevention of conception, and fœticide. (9-68) -- II. Infanticide and infantile mortality (71-86) -- III. Injury and death to the adolescent (89-134) -- IV. Injury and death to adults (137-244) -- V. Advertisements (247-318) -- VI. Legislation (321-425) -- Conclusions and recommendations (426-431) -- 4. Indices - Index of subjects (433-443) -- Index of names (444-450) -- Index of drugs, including deaths, and “doctors” (quack) [Index of drugs and nostrums] (451-455)
Summary "The Report represents a vigorous and scientifically based denunciation of quackery and patent medicines. The recommendations include strict control of all proprietary articles, of all drugs, apparatus, and the establishment of a Commonwealth Bureau of Chemistry to control foods and medicines. It is also suggested that Commonwealth and State Health Legislation should be uniform."--D. H. Borchardt
Analysis Quacks and quackery--Australia
Patent medicines--Australia
Notes On title page called "Volume 1", but no further volumes published; see D.H. Borchardt, Checklist of Royal Commissions ... , 1952, pt. 1, item 22
Chairman: O.C. Beale
Includes indexes
National Library of Australia's SR copy is an original version, and has a Commonwealth of Australia 1912 coat of arms bookplate, but no other indication of how it was acquired. The NLf copy and Parliamentary paper copies are revised versions. ANL
Also available online
Octavius Beale was a piano manufacturer and philanthropist who served on a 1903 New South Wales commission on infant mortality, and who continued to campaign against patent medicines, particularly contraceptives and abortifacients. In 1905 Beale secured a commission from Alfred Deakin to undertake at his own expense what has been described as most the personal Royal Commission ever held. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, his report “had to be purged of some of its wilder claims before publication,” but in fact it circulated in both its original and amended format. It was originally tabled on 8 August 1907, but after a debate on 11 September, it was withdrawn and reviewed by four medically qualified MPs, chaired by Charles Carty Salmon. On 20 November, they recommended a small number of changes (Parliamentary paper no. 139 of 1907; vol. 2, page 1337). The printer was instructed to reprint page 9/10, removing three paragraphs, and obliterate three lines on page 15. The sections on page 10 were an intemperate attack on the Review of Reviews and Annie Besant (quoted in paragraph 7) and the lines on page 15 concern the use of whalebone or wire to induce abortions. Pages 9 and 10 were further extensively rewritten and pages 9 to 19 were completely reset. Australasian Pharmaceutical Notes & News (January, 1931) notes that “copies were recalled as far as possible and ... destroyed.” A revised version of the report was tabled on 13 December
Subject Quacks and quackery -- Australia.
Patent medicines -- Australia.
Contraceptives -- Australia.
Abortifacients -- Australia.
Author Beale, Octavius C. (Octavius Charles), 1850-1930
Other Titles Report of the Royal Commission on Secret Drugs, Cures, and Foods
Report of the Royal Commission on Secret Drugs, Cures, and Foods