The Act for the Prevention of Contagious Diseases (27 & 28 Vict. c. 85), which was passed by Parliament in 1864, allowed the police to arrest prostitutes in ports and army towns, and to bring them in to have compulsory checks for venereal disease. If found to be infected they were to be placed in a secure hospital until cured. Although considered by many to be the best way to tackle venereal diseases, the Act was always controversial, and was eventually repealed in 1886.
Application for appointment of medical Inspector under the Act for the prevention of Contagious Diseases.
Army and Navy Club SW
27 July 1864
I beg respectfully to offer myself as a candidate for the Appointment of medical Inspector under the Act for the prevention of Infectious Diseases. The act says that a superior medical officer of the Navy of the Army shall be appointed, and as a Staff Surgeon in the Navy with a long and varied...
The Secretary of the Admiralty
...varied experience including service in the principal places to which the act refers, I trust that I may be considered qualified legally, as I feel that I am personally to carry its provisions into effect.
I contemplated annexing copies of public letters & Certificates illustrating my services generally in a readable form & in order of date, but as they are not yet complete I beg to enclose rough drafts relating to my services in Ireland during the period of distress in 1847, which testify to the ...
...possession of administrative abilities indespensable to the efficient performance of the duties of a Medical Inspector under the Act for the prevention of Contagious Diseases.
I have the honor to be
Sir, Your most obt. humble Serv.
Staff Surgeon R.N.
2nd. August 1864
I have received and laid before my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty your letter of the 27. ultimo requesting to be appointed Medical Inspector under the Act for the prevention of Contagious Diseases.
Your obedient Servant
William Loney Esqre
Staff Surgeon R.N.
Army & Navy Club
The signatory is Second Secretary William Govett Romaine C.B.
[Both William Loney and the Admiralty seemed to have been rather unsure of the exact title of the Act!]