Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/595

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
University of Madras.

Gentlemen, I am sanguine enough to think that this College will yet perform a beneficent work for your people in providing not only for Law students proper, but for public servants generally, and also for citizens engaged in the ordinary avocations of life, opportunities for the study of Law and of social regulations and customs, as yet afforded by no institution in the Empire. It must also, I consider, become a society of Lawyers. An institution of this kind will help to maintain your noble profession in a thoroughly healthy condition. The courts as the final authority in matters of discipline may do much, but I am persuaded that you, Lawyers, must feel yourselves to be members of a society having its own sanctions, before you will in any true sense be members of a profession. Workers in one branch of activity must thus be linked together or society must suffer.

To you, Graduates in Medicine, I say—remember that you belong to a great profession by virtue of the vow you made this evening. You have no Medical Practitioners' Act in this country to bind you together, no legal sanctions peculiar to your profession. It therefore is all the more necessary that you should make that vow a bond of honour as strong as the Freemason's oath. The progress of your profession in this country depends in great measure upon your so holding together. Those of you who may enter the Medical Service will have its regulations to guide you—but an increasing number of the Medical Graduates of Madras will have no such support. Therefore in your calling voluntary obligations must take the place of legal. You will not, I trust, have only to look to a distinguished name, and to the monetary rewards which justly follow on such a reputation, but I trust that as time goes on the Schools of Medicine and the Hospitals of this city will afford you the opportunities of gaining public recognition for your work. The progress of scientific Medicine in this country cannot for ever depend upon work done through the Government, or Local Medical Services. It must, as in any other great department of life, depend partly upon private effort, that is, on the work of private practitioners. I have in my capacity of Director of Public Instruction, tried in a small way to bring such men forward, but as things now stand the opportunities are so few that they can have but little effect. I can only hope that the time may come when to such may be afforded the means of doing good and useful work in public institutions for the public. The change is beset with many difficulties, but it must come in time if those among you who take to private