HC Deb 24 October 1912 vol 42 cc2395-6W

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that Dr. F. Mehnarto (Dr. Med. Heidelberg, Dr.Phil. Berlin) has recently infected and then cured animals of sleeping sickness by the injection of a serum; that these experiments, hitherto unknown to science, were conducted under the personal supervision of Dr. Jolly, Professor of Physiology, of the South African College, Cape Town; whether he is aware that Dr. Mehnarto also performed the same experiment on himself with successful results, as can be testified to by Dr. de Rudere, of the Congo Territory; and whether, in view of the fact that a Commission is in existence at present to try and find a remedy for sleeping sickness, which is costing the British Government a considerable sum of money annually, he will take steps to see that advantage is taken of the discoveries of Dr. Mehnarto in those Colonies where sleeping sickness prevails?


The director of the Tropical Diseases Bureau informs me that he has seen some papers briefly describing experiments performed by Dr. F. Mehnarto on rabbits for the cure of sleeping sickness, but that it was not possible for him to form an estimate of their value. It was stated in the papers that some of the experiments had been performed in Dr. Jolly's laboratory at Cape Town. There was no mention of Dr. Mehnarto having performed similar experiments on himself. Before I can take steps to see that advantage is taken of the discoveries of Dr. Mehnarto, it is needful to ascertain whether these discoveries are of value, and I suggest that Dr. Mehnarto should bring his work before some scientific society or offer it to some scientific journal for publication. If it has the value which he appears to claim for it, there will be no difficulty in having it published and discussed by competent critics. When this has been done I shall be glad to consider the matter further.

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