Front Page Titles (by Subject) No. II. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 9 (Constitutional Code)
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No. II. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 9 (Constitutional Code) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 9.
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Collectanea relating to Ch. xi. Ministers severally, Section 10, Health Minister (Supra, p. 443.)
(From the Examiner of 9th July, 1831.)
“Sanatory Regulations.—A circular, of which the following is a copy, has been delivered to the inhabitants of St James’s, Westminister, viz.:—‘It is strongly recommended to the inhabitants of this parish, to have their dust bins emptied at least once in every week, the fermentation and putrefaction of vegetable and other matters therein being a great cause of infection at this season of the year.’ Unless the Board of Health is superintended and stimulated by the Press, it will proceed in the mole-eyed and bit-by-bit manner in which the functions of government are usually performed by government itself, as well as those to whom it delegates authority. After the arrangements of quarantine, and the sanatory regulations against the cholera have been made, the medical commission will probably, if left to itself, become a sinecure; the government acting ignorantly, and without plan, having assigned to the commission only one object, when, with the same expenditure of money, the services of the commissioners might be directed to a number of other objects of permanent importance, for the improvement and preservation of the public health. Such a body would render great service, if, for example, they obtained reports of the districts in which fever patients are the most numerous, or in which epidemics are the most frequent and extensive, and if they investigated the local causes of these diseases, and took measures for their removal. Why should not such a commission be instructed to frame sanatory regulations for the maintenance of cleanliness in the streets, and for the guidance of proper officers in the execution of the existing laws? It does not appear to have occurred to the Home Department, that the police officers, most of whom are occupied in patrolling their rounds from morning to night, for the protection of persons and property, might be employed to enforce such regulations without any detriment to their other duties.*
“A correspondent suggests, in anticipation of an epidemic or contagious disease making its appearance in this metropolis, the necessity of organizing, in each parish, a sanatory committee, composed of active, intelligent, and humane individuals, who should be empowered by the magistrates to visit all dwellings occupied by the poorer classes, and, where there is a want of cleanliness and ventilation, to cause the necessary measures to be carried into effect: such as whitewashing, and proper openings for the free circulation of air; to be done at the expense of the landlord, (if he can afford it,) or by means of parish subscription. The above committee should also inspect uncovered drains, or stagnant pools, that may exist in any part of the parish, and cause the former to be covered, and the latter to be filled up; to the first, the Sewer Company will, no doubt, give its sanction and assistance, as tending to contribute to the public health.”
[* ]Most readers will be aware that the desiderata here alluded to, have been to some extent supplied; and that the attention of legislators and the public has of late been so earnestly attracted to the subject, that in a short time nearly all the writer’s anticipations seem likely to be fulfilled. In 1840, a select committee made an elaborate inquiry as to the health of towns, with a view to discover how far improvements might be accomplished by means of sanatory regulations. A bill was lately introduced to remedy many of the acknowledged defects, and though withdrawn on account of imperfections in its construction, will probably be soon resumed. Many incidental inquiries have been made by the poor law commissioners,—in the view that whatever propagates disease is connected with the incidence of the poor tax: and they are now occupied in preparing a still more elaborate report on the subject, to be extended to Scotland,—November, 1841.—Ed.