Mr. Cross does not, unfortunately, distinguish between Madame Tussaud's “Chamber of Horrors” and a collection of casts of the heads of criminals taken after death for a scientific purpose. This at least is the only explanation which occurs to us to account for the Home Secretary's instructing his Secretary, Mr. Liddell, to write thus to a gentleman who was refused permission to take a plaster cast of a murderer's head, “I am to add that Mr. Cross has thought it advisable to give directions that the practice of allowing casts to be taken of the heads of condemned criminals should be discontinued.” Our eye fell upon this, within a few days of examining the casts which have been preserved in Newgate, and are of great interest. In spite of the many uncertainties of the present day, we thought one thing to be at least certain, namely, that there was a greatly increased recognition of the importance of the development of the brain, whether in relation to crime or mental defect. But even this belief proves to be an illusion. Anthropology is deliberately discouraged in one of its most important branches—cerebro-mental science. At a time when a really scientific use is made of crania and casts of heads, the Government decides that the supply shall be cut off from one source at any rate; instead of doing what one would have thought a much more likely course to pursue, to make this practice compulsory, instead of depending, as it has hitherto done, upon private effort. We sincerely trust that this embargo upon so legitimate a use of the scientific materials at our disposal in prisons will be removed, and that the study of criminal pathology will not be retarded by so un-called for a prohibition.
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