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The William Osler Papers

[Transcript of notes by William Osler on the Canadian Army Medical Corps episode] pdf (1,064,351 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[Transcript of notes by William Osler on the Canadian Army Medical Corps episode]
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1 (1,064,351 Bytes)
1916-08-28 (August 28, 1916)
[Osler, William]
Transcriber: [Cushing, Harvey]
Original Repository: Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University. Osler Library Archive Collections, P417: Harvey Cushing Fonds
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
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Sir William: Regius Professor at Oxford, 1905-1919
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Aug 28 1916
C.A.M.C. Episode
"From the funeral of Prof. Brodie at Golders Green, I drove to town with a group of C.A.M.C. Officers who talked of the committee appointed by Sir Sam Hughes to investigate the Med. Dept. of the Canadian Army in England, the Chairman of which was Dr. Herb Bruce of Toronto. There had been rumors for months that the minister was after Sur. Gen. Jones had but the men were bitter in their criticism of the manner of appointing and the personnel of the commission. I had had a letter from Bruce asking if he could come and see me and a day had been arranged but I was called away. My relations with B had always been most friendly and I knew him as a surgeon of first-class repute. On my return I immediately wrote a friendly letter asking B if the statement I have heard were true - i.e. whether the com. Had been appointed without consultation with Surg. Gen. Jones as to its advisability or the personal. B. resented my enquiry (Letter a) and referred me to the minister to whom I wired asking the same question (T. 1). As will be seen by the replies to my letters and wires neither Bruce nor Sam Hughes answered my questions. I then asked Gen. Jones himself and his reply is given. Meanwhile a very awkward thing happened; as I had for long hoped to celebrate the second anniversary of the arrival of the members of the C.A.M.C. by giving a dinner to Gen. Jones, the invitations to which were issued before I knew of the troubles. At his request they were withdrawn when the report of the commission was issued in general Jones was removed in protest. I resigned my position as Consultant at various Canadian Hospitals and I sent the cables (1 & ) to the Prime Minister in Ottawa whose reply is that ( ) when the report of the Commission was published broadcast in the Canadian papers I cabled my old friend, Sir George Graham of the Montreal Star a protest. Meanwhile Col. Bruce and ( ) members of the commission were installed at 86 Strand, virtually in charge of the C.A.M.C. Really nothing more Gilbertesque has ever happened in the profession. A group of the man's subordinates set judgment on his work, turn him out and take on his job. Fortunately the cabinet in Canada in the country could no longer stand Gen. Hughes, who like Haman was hung on his own gallows. Jones was ordered to remain. Perley was put in charge of the War Dept. in England, and an independent Commission was appointed to report on Bruce's report. Except on minor points Jones was upheld and reinstated. So far as I have been concerned this unpleasant job was a protest against what I felt was a piece of rank injustice. It was mixed up too with another matter at Cliveden - the removal of the Matron in the report of the Commission at a time when the C.O. and the Quartermaster were charged with malfeasance. She could have had nothing whatever to do with it. I felt was a disgraceful action and protested warmly. She had the satisfaction of having an official statement that there were no charges against her and was sent to No. 1 General Hospital in France.
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