April 30, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


John Gillanders Turriff



I have here a clipping, which I just received this morning, from the Carlyle Herald, Carlyle being a town in my constituency. The clipping reads:
Here is a begging letter which is being circulated in "chain" form by the responsible officials of one of the largest corporations in Canada:-
Mr. T. E. Kirkpatrick, of the New York Central Railway Company, has sent me the following letter, which I pass on to you:-
Owing to the scarcity of anesthetics, operations that cause indescribable pain have to be performed without their aid to mitigate suffering. We make a complete appeal to you to contribute 24 cents towards the purchase of chloroform to use . in the hospitals of the Allies.
Please send five copies of the appeal to your friends and put No. 148 on your letters. Do not fail or the chain will be broken.
Please send the money to Miss Elizabeth Whitman, Superintendent of Nurses, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, 218 Second Avenue, New York City.
Now, the above letter, hinting as it does, of conditions of indescribable misery among the boys at the front, is one of two things. It is either the meanest, most despicable fake yet exposed or the most damnable disgrace to our Government that could very well be imagined. Personally, we feel sure it is a fake. In spite of the size of the corporation circulating the appeal, and the undoubted integrity of the signatory, we would refuse to send even two cents-to New York-on the strength of the appeal. We refuse to believe that the Allies have to cadge shillings in Carlyle for chloroform.
I have no doubt that this is a fake; but if it is a fake, then our Canadian mails are being used to extend this fake in order to collect money. It is possible on the other hand that this nurse, Miss Elizabeth Whitman, may be all right, but I think the matter is of such importance that the Postmaster General and the Minister of Militia should look into it.

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