London (Mar. 28)
The unsatisfactory state of the municipal water supply in Jerusalem and the “almost utopian regulations for the installation of sanitary systems” devised by the Government and the municipality, with which the hospital has complied “up to the hilt” only to have “a costly scheme reduced to little more than a nuisance” owing to the fact that “the gravitation supply was available only for a few hours every fourth day, is complained of by Colonel Strathearn, the Warden, in his report of the work of the Ophthalmic Hospital at Jerusalem maintained by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem which has just been issued.
The Warden also refers to the marked rise in the cost of living in Jerusalem during the year. The price of bread rose 6 per cent., locally-grown vegetables and rice 7 per cent., fresh meat 12 per cent., and British imported foodstuffs and soap 16 per cent.
There was a marked increase over the figures for 1930, in the numbers of in-patients treated, the report states. It is interesting to note that although there were 75,423 attendances of patients and as many as 2,911 operations at the hospital the amount contributed by way of thank-offerings did not exceed Â£3.
Of the total cost of running the hospital, which amounted to Â£5,329, only Â£925 came from endowments. Individual members of the Orden and its friends contributed Â£743, and the Order itself provided the rest.
The report contains a detailed account of the highway robbery on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho in November last, when escaped convicts from Amman stopped the Warden and Mrs. Strathearn and Mr. Kubeisy, of the hospital staff (with the occupants of 15 other cars), forcibly deprived them of their watches and money, and seized Mrs. Strathearn’s wedding ring and coat.