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"temporary relief and and that 20 cents
To the Editor:—
In the April 13 issue of The Journal I note a statement made by Senator Pepper (page 1027) concerning the origin and operation of the United States Marine Hospitals that deserves some examination and comment.While the Senator's statement is somewhat sketchy, it is definitely misleading in that it creates the impression that the system devised by Congress in 1798 has continued throughout the years without change.The facts are that in 1798 Congress did provide for the establishment of Marine Hospitals for the "temporary relief and maintenance of sick or disabled seaman" and that 20 cents should be deducted from their monthly pay. The term "seamen" included men of the Navy as well as of the Merchant Marine. In about 1812 naval hospitals were established for navy personnel. The sum so collected went into the Marine Hospital fund and
Creel RH. MEDICAL SERVICE OF THE MERCHANT MARINE. JAMA. 1946;131(5):481. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870220115022