New Brunswick. Tuberculosis Commission.

Abstract: Commission to Inquire into the Tuberculosis Scourge, 1910

In 1909 the Legislature of New Brunswick passed an Act to assist in "the prevention and cure of tuberculosis". It was the launch of an ambitious inquiry, which spoke to the concern for the subject. It provided the appointment of seven commissioners, who were not paid for their services, and a sizeable budget of $15 000.

From their report, it appears that the Commissioners were as ambitious as the act which created the Commission. The report and appendices provide detailed accounts of the measures taken by other cities, with special attention given to Boston which, early in the twentieth century, had enacted such progressive measures as the establishment of hospices for dying patients and summer camps for children with the disease.

Apart from the fact finding and expository components of the inquiry, the Commissioners also made extensive recommendations for combating the spread of tuberculosis. Their recommendations fall into three categories: educational, medical, and bureaucratic or administrative. As to the former, the Commissioners proposed that, through pamphlets and newspaper articles, the public be better informed about the nature of the disease; that there be a "travelling educational exhibition on tuberculosis"; and that children study the disease in health class in the public school system. Medical measures included assigning nurses to visit the homes of the sick; free examinations "in all necessary cases"; and mandatory medical inspections of schools. Finally, the Commissioners suggested administrative changes, including greater powers for the Provincial Boards of Health; recommendations for proper ventilation in buildings; regularized nomenclature for referring to the disease; sanitary legislation such as the prohibition of "promiscuous spitting"; and a recommendation for the establishment of a sanatorium to aid in curing patients and as a research facility.


J.R. McIntosh P.R. Inches W.D. Rankine T.J. Bourque B.W. Robertson A.F. McAvenny R.L. Botsford

Documents Available for Viewing

Main ReportpdfFull-textgif
Enabling LegislationpdfFull-textincluded with Main Report

Bibliographic Information

View the file's header (TEI format) which contains bibliographic information about the print and electronic versions of the report of this Commission.