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copy of the regulations here referred to was sent to every member and associate.
During the consideration of the Medical Bills before the late session of Parliament, which eventually resulted in the passing of the “Medical Act (1858)" the council were carefully engaged in opposing the insertion of any clause tending to prejudice the interests of the College of Dentists. They were also engaged in an endeavour to obtain the recognition of Dentists as a professional body in the new Act. Both these results were accomplished. The portion of a clause in Mr Cowper's Bill which would have operated most injuriously against the College was struck out, whilst the claim of Dentists generally to the right of legally recovering charges will be found allowed in the last clause of the Medical Act.
With regard to the ordinary monthly meetings, the “ Transactions” of the College (about to be forwarded to the members and associates), will show that at every such meeting the proceedings have been of an instructive and interesting nature, and the council desire now to give expression to their sense of obligation to the many gentlemen who have come forward so readily to give the result of their experience and observation in the valuable papers prepared by them. A desire having been evinced by several members that the “Transactions” of the College should be published quarterly instead of yearly, the council have arranged to meet this desire, and in future a copy of the “ Transactions" will be transmitted to each member and associate every three months, commencing in April next ensuing.
Towards the close of the year a very general attention was directed to the public statement that electricity could be rendered available in procuring the painless removal of teeth. The interest aroused in the profession by such a statement was naturally great, and in accordance with a requisition received by the council, a special meeting was convened for October 12th, to discuss the value of electricity as an anæsthetic, with the view of testing its merits in dental operations. The subject being one of great importance to the scientific world generally, admission to the meeting was accorded to all professional men taking interest in the question. Thus many eminent medical practitioners were present to assist in the proceedings, as well as a very large body of Dentists. On the motion of Dr Elliotson, the Council of the College of Dentists were requested to nominate a committee to fully investigate the subject, and to report thereon at a future meeting. This request has since been carried into effect so far as a committee
is concerned, whose report will shortly be brought before the profession.
To those acquainted with the troubled position of the profession during several months in the past year, it will scarcely be matter of surprise that the educational objects of the College have not been more fully developed. Indeed, it was only through the earnest attention of the council to the interests of the College, that the delivery of lectures of the highest character was commenced in November last, when they had the gratification of securing the valuable services of Dr Richardson, whose lectures on the Medical History and Treatment of Diseases of the Teeth are now in course of delivery.
The members severally have been furnished with a prospectus of these lectures, and it is therefore needless to add that important subjects are embraced which have never before received consideration, whilst the fact of these subjects being treated by an eminent authority must be a source of satisfaction alike to members of the College and the profession generally. .
In conclusion, the council would cordially acknowledge the support which has been accorded them by members generally, during their term of office, without which support, indeed, their efforts to carry on the business of the College with success would have been impossible.
(Signed) PETER MATTHEWS, President.
S. L. RYMER, Hon. Secretaries.
A. HOCKLEY, Council Room, 5 Cavendish square,
London, January, 1859.
The CHAIRMAN : Before calling upon Mr Purland for his Report. I think it desirable that we should deal with the document which has just been read, and then I shall have the pleasure of laying before you the statement of the Treasurer. There are many important matters touched upon in the Report of the Council, at which I shall take a cursory glance, for, owing to the position I have held of president of the College, I may be allowed to speak of your council—they cannot speak of themselves. [Hear, hear.] Twelve months have elapsed since I took the chair, at a time, as you must all be aware, when the College was in great difficulty. You will recollect that a portion of the council resigned their situations in consequence of the differences which arose out of the amalgamation question. It is almost needless for me to speak upon that subject again, and I would not do so, but that another society has thought proper to allude to it, and to state publicly and distinctly that we would not amalgamate with them. That statement is utterly erroneous. We were
all willing to amalgamate, but it was with relation to the terms on which the amalgamation should take place that we were unable to agree; for the other party proposed and insisted upon terms which were not acceptable to the majority of the College. [Hear, hear.] In the first place, they wanted to alter our name ; but their principal object was to force us to go to the College of Surgeons for a diploma. Now this College was founded as an independent institution (cheers]; and you may rest assured that the future will show that what we have begun well will be faithfully carried out—if not by ourselves by others. That there will be an independent institution after all, I feel satisfied, for I am fully persuaded, and I speak not without good authority, that the College of Surgeons will never grant a dental diploma. [Hear, hear.] You will recollect also that the council resumed their places at the request of a public meeting of the body, in order, if possible, to bring the amalgamation question to a successful issue, with instructions that the terms should be modified so as to be agreeable to the Members of the College. They resumed their position; but again the same terms were brought forward with no modification whatever, and the consequence was- as the terms were identical with those that had been already rejected, that the College could not entertain them again. Those members of the council then finally resigned, and the present council was elected. The duties of the new council during the past year have been, I need scarcely say, of a very arduous character, deserted as they were in the hour of need by their old friends. I say “old friends," because we were in concert upon everything but that one point of the amalgamation, and it was a great pity that our former coadjutors should have resigned, and have thus severed old friendships, because I am persuaded that if they had remained with us the amalgamation might have been carried out with satisfaction to all. [Hear, hear.] But they having left us, I have been informed by a member, upon whose veracity I can rely, and on whose authority I can speak, that it was the determination of the Odontological Society not to amalgamate with the College of Dentists. They proposed terms which they knew that we, as an independent body, could not accept. They were anxious to obtain the strength and the position which our numbers could give to them, in order thate they might go in a large body to, and, by our aid, produce an effect upon the College of Surgeons; but in their heart they had no wish to amalgamate. Cheers.) Your new council, then, gentlemen, had great and arduous duties to perform. Their first desire was to see whether the amalgamation could not still be brought about. You know that; you know how sincere and earnest their desire was upon that subject, and you know also that their efforts were unavailing. [Hear, hear.) Then a small committee was appointed from amongst yourselves, to see if unity could not be re-established. We have had no report from that committee, and therefore, I presume, that their efforts fell to the ground entirely. Indeed, it seems to have been determined by the other side that they would not amalgamate on any terms whatever. That being so, your new council felt that they had nothing to do but to look to your interests, and I must say that a harder working council, or a council which looked less to their own interests, and more to the general interests of the College, you could not have had than that which have served you so faithfully for the past year. [Applause.] Their meetings have been many, but not too many, considering the importance of the objects which they had in view. In the first place, there was that great and momentous bill which was brought into Parliament, and which was known as the “Medical Bill." When the council perused that bill, they found that the profession of the Dentist was not recognised at all in it. There was no mention made of Dentists any more than if we were a non-existent body; and the first object, therefore, of the council was to place them. selves in communication with the head of the department, and to request that Mr Walpole, the Home Secretary, would receive a deputation from us on the subject. Mr Walpole stated, in reply, that his engagements were very numerous and very pressing, and he added that if we would embody in a paper a detailed statement of our wishes, he would endeavour, if possible, to accede to our views. Consequently your council did send in an account of what they wanted, which simply was, that Dentists should be recognised in the Bill. He very readily assented to our wishes in this respect, and as no objection was raised by Mr Cowper or Mr Headlam, they were fully realised, and you will find that Dentists are included in the Bill. [Cheers.) I mention this because it is a fact that that important object was accomplished by the College of Dentists-it was the College that did it.” [Cheers.] The Odontological Society did not request that, and although in their publications they seem to intimate that it was their desire that the Dentists of England should be recognised, the fact, is, that it was the Council of the College of Dentists of England who alone achieved that object. (Cheers.] They watched the Bill in its progress through the Committee of the House, and they saw that a clause was about to be introduced conferring power upon a body calling themselves the “ British College of Dental Surgeons,” to examine candidates, and to grant diplomas. That proposition emanated from the Odontolo. gical Society, who wanted to establish this new body in order to destroy us. Your council found that out, and owing to their exertions that clause was struck out, it being considered that whilst there was a College existing, there was no necessity for introducing into the Act one that did not exist. And it is a curious fact and worthy of note, that the title the “British College of Dental Surgeons," was the very name which we proposed to the Odontological Society that we should assume, if our present designation was altered. They would not agree to that name at the time, and yet it is the very one which they proposed for the new College, which they were anxious to call into being to subserve their own ends. (Cheers.] I am happy to say, that Members of Parliament, most of them, are men of reasoning faculties; they can see what is right, and if their attention is directed in the proper course, they are quite able to judge for themselves. Accordingly they found that a clause which was about to be introduced, was one that was not required, and it was struck out immediately. They succeeded, however, in introducing a clause in which I see no harm, to the effect, that the College of Surgeons might establish special examinations for granting dental diplomas. I believe that the members of the medical profession generally opposed that provision heart and soul. When they waited upon Mr Walpole, they were told that it would never be done by the College of Surgeons; and the Odontos observed, that in that event they would form themselves into an independent body for the purpose-the very thing that you have been from the commence, ment. [Cheers.] It would appear, therefore, that they are following in our steps. Another step that they have taken, is to establish a dental hospital-a very excellent thing. [Hear, hear.] We considered that same subject two years ago, and a committee was appointed who reported upon it, but when it was brought before the council, they thought that one dental hospital was sufficient, and that it would be better not to establish another institution, in a spirit which might have the appearance of hostility or opposition. Therefore your Council abandoned the idea. I tell you this because it may not be generally known, but it is the fact. Now, the Council have endeavoured during the past year to avoid giving offence to any individual, or to any set of individuals. [Hear, hear.] The proceedings of the Dental College have had no reference whatever to the Odontological Society, or to their movements. We have pursued the even tenour of our way with a view to the best interests of the profession at large. We have invited men of skill and men of eminence to come before you to read papers, and to lecture, and to do all in their power to advance the great objects which we have at heart; but I am sorry to say that the other party, aided, I fear, by those who have seceded from us, have done all in their power to thwart us in our good intention, and to render our exertions of no practical avail. It is painful to dwell upon these topics, but I must speak forth the words of truth and soberness, for the crisis has come, and I must tell you that which I do know. [Hear, hear.] In the position which I occupy as your President, I naturally hear much that is going forward. We have done everything to court inquiry ; we have striven earnestly not to give offence; but whenever we have endeavoured to accomplish any good for you, the other