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best room in the house choked up with furniture and use it only on Sundays.

All these lessons, together with special lectures on the family at different ages, were gathered together by Sir Napier Burnett into a co-ordinated course of seven lectures and offered in the first instance to audiences consisting of the women of the Village Institutes in country places in England. The complete syllabus of the course would take too much space, but a short précis may be given.

I. The body as a living machine

In this lecture special stress is laid on breathing and the necessity of fresh air, body resistance, and the importance of the senses, the faculty of observation, eye and mind activity, etc.

2. Digestion and food

The digestive system beginning with teeth and mouth digestion; food values; the cooking and care of food; classification of milk.

3. The skin

Dangers of the unwashed skin. The tonic effect on the nervous system of a bath. Clothes; the importance of not sleeping in under-clothing worn during the day. Exercise.

4. The house and the village

The frame in which the vital machine lives. The best room in the house should be the one most used. The psychology of the house. Cheerful rooms. Drains: bad smells are danger signals; they should not be covered up with disinfectants. Light, soap, and water. Flies as carriers of disease. The importance of the organization of house work.

5. The infant and the child up to five Descriptions of the normal infant and child. Diet and weight. Clothing. The physiological and psychological effects of emotion. Effects of anger, effects of fear. Cheerfulness and disposition. The sub-conscious life of the child.

6. The schoolboy and schoolgirl Work and play. The importance of sleep. The rising sap of life force. The herd instinct in boys

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The Mother.

The family slave and the family doctor". Personal health. The duty of studying laboursaving to save her health. Ill-temper as a consequence of overwork. Absolute necessity for rest after child bearing. Happiness of the whole family dependent on her health.

This is the teaching which, in a course of seven lectures, has now been given in 27 counties in England and Wales, and is now being listened to by about 5,000 women every week.

While last year the lectures were entirely organized by the Women's Institutes, it was thought better to widen the field for the second session in the winter of 1922-23. The various County Branches of the Joint Societies were, therefore, approached through their County Directors and asked if they would organize the audience from among the Women's Institutes, the Mother's Unions, the Girls Friendly Societies and other associations. A great response was received, and during the current session 39 tours have been arranged in 27 different counties.

The best syllabus in the world is, however, entirely dependent on the capability of the lecturers, and here the effort which Sir Napier Burnett has devoted to the subject has been crowned with success. The usual procedure is that I should see applicants for him and that he should give a personal interview to all those who seem in the least promising. The necessary qualification is the two years' Health Visitor's Certificate under the new scheme of the Ministry of Health. Many of the lecturers are also trained nurses and have been Sisters in some of the largest London hospitals. No less than three of them have distinguished aca

demic careers and have taken Honours Degrees at Cambridge, and most of them, in addition to the Health Visitor's Certificate, have taken their C. M. B. Sir Napier has also twice addressed small conferences of lecturers just setting out on their first tours. At these he has gone through the syllabus point by point and shown exactly how he wishes the various subjects to be treated.

Besides the reports from the counties as to the value of the lectures, the lecturers send a monthly report to Headquarters, in which they tell us of the many practical results of their tours. Perhaps the most obvious and apparent result is the appearance among the audience of a few swelled faces after Lecture 2 on Digestion. This lecture begins with the care of the Teeth and with Mouth Digestion. One of the lecturers has a truly terrible picture of a healthy tooth contrasted with a decayed tooth, and this sends the women off post-haste to their dentists, willing to endure the pain of extraction rather than continue to be poisoned by eating with decayed teeth.

Another lecturer told me that when walking, accompanied by an Institute Secretary, through a small village in the West of England, the Secretary pointed out to her that all the windows of the houses were open. "This," she said, "is entirely the result of your lecture on fresh air. Before you came all these windows remained shut.

There is a remote village in Wales where the lecturer has been asked whether she would give the women a little demonstration in simple cookery, the only cooking implement which they possessed being a frying-pan! The extraction of the valuable juices of the meat by slow cooking in the hay-box seems to be an unheard-of art in the villages, and the valuable salts contained in the water in which vegetables have been boiled are always thrown down the scullery sink.

In clothing, although there is some difficulty in effecting the revolution of a change of clothes at night, this has sometimes been accomplished, with, it must be confessed, varying results to the comfort of the individual. Even more important is the help given in Lecture 6. Not one, but a hundred expressions of gratitude have been given to our lecturers for the help they have afforded to mothers in managing the most difficult part of

their children's lives. In a recent course the mothers did not even wait for Lecture ó, but began to ask the lecturer after the second lecture whether there was any information she could give them as to boys and girls of from fifteen to seventeen, and in many villages the opinion has been expressed that the teaching given on the subject is of the highest moral value. The lecture on "The House and the Village" has also been greatly appreciated. Of a very progressive village in Derbyshire the lecturer reports that the women belong to a co-operative movement and that their Society held meetings after her lecture to consider whether anything could be done to improve the local conditions of living. This seems one of the most important results that the lectures have yet attained.

In the cases where the attendance has been greatest, a great deal is owing to the Institute Secretaries, who have canvassed the women of the village and shown them how practical and useful they will find the courses. One Secretary of an Institute in Hampshire wrote that she "would like to compel all our members, or I might say every woman to attend a course like that."

When one thinks of the conditions of village life and the wonderful amount of work which the married women with children get through, it does not seem extraordinary that they require persuading to give up an afternoon every week, even for the purpose of being helped with their own business. It is, of course, absolutely necessary to take the lectures to the village, not to try to get women from one village to attend lectures at another. At one of the lectures which I attended myself, as I passed along the narrow lanes which wind through the Hampshire Downs, it seemed to me delightful to reflect that up-to-date, practical teaching should be brought to these solitary places and that women should be taught the value of the sunshine and fresh air, which are both so easily obtained on the downs and in the fields.

It will be realized that the aim of the lectures is primarily to teach women to make the best of things as they are. Desirable as might be a campaign to establish ideal conditions, that is not the aim of these courses. It is rather to make every woman who hears them ask herself, "Am I making.

the best of everyday life? Shall I, if fresh air is a necessity, try an experiment as to whether night air is so deadly as I supposed? Would it be worth while to try and arrange my work so that I could get out for a walk every now and then?" and so on, and so on. In short, the ultimate aim of the course is to arouse a desire for health so imperative that each listener will not rest till she has done her best to secure its blessings for herself, and even more important, for her children. It would be ridiculous to pretend that one course of lectures in a village can effect any very radical change. It can, however, sow the seeds of desire, and we believe that in many instances this has been done. There are already applications for more advanced courses from the counties which have had lectures and applications

for the original courses from counties which for one reason or another have been left out. The question of more advanced courses must be considered with great care. When reading the syllabus a distinguished woman doctor said to me last year that any one of the lectures would make the basis of a complete course, and possibly that is the line on which development would be easiest. Something, however, has been accomplished, and we may hope that a saying, taken by me from a lecture delivered by Sir Napier Burnett, which is put at the head of the syllabus, will have gone home to many hundreds of women among the audiences. This saying, pregnant with the wisdom of direct simplicity, is as follows :

Health is not the opposite of illness, but a positive state which can be preserved and maintained.





In April, 1920, nearly half a million prisoners of war or interned soldiers were awaiting repatriation, many of them in a state of utter misery. A report stated that in Siberia 120,000 to 200,000 prisoners were certain to perish if energetic steps were not taken to liberate them before the winter. A number of charitable organizations were interested in these prisoners and had done much to lessen their sufferings, but their goodwill was unequal to coping with the extent of the task.

It was then that the Council of the League of Nations, by a resolution dated April 11th, 1920, entrusted Fridtjof Nansen with the task of co-ordinating all efforts in favour of prisoners of war and of arranging for their repatriation. The task was enormous and the available resources negligible. On January 1st, 1922, Dr. Nansen had completed the repatriation, although the funds placed at his

disposal, had not exceeded £400,000. Altogether 427,386 persons belonging to twenty-six different nationalities had been returned to their homes through the efforts of the League's High Commissioner, helped by the International Red Cross Committee of Geneva and other voluntary organizations.


More than a million and a half Russian refugees -men, women, children and old people, of every class-were scattered over Europe in 1920, many without means of subsistence, with no possibility of earning their living and with no government to appeal to. The more important relief organizations appealed to the Council of the League of Nations, which, after an enquiry amongst the different governments, entrusted Dr. Nansen with the finding of "a definite solution of the problem of Russian refugees".

A governmental conference, which met at Geneva in August, 1921, recognized that the co-operation

of all governments was needed in this relief work. It drew up a plan of action for Dr. Nansen, the High Commissioner, and requested each government to nominate an official to establish liaison with the High Commissioner.

Thanks to Dr. Nansen's efforts and to the help furnished by governments and by voluntary organizations the most urgent part of the work, the immediate relief of the refugees was successfully carried out. But these measures were merely palliative, for the High Commissioner could not continually be asking governments and voluntary organizations for the large sums of money required, whilst the refugees themselves had no wish to continue living on alms. What was needed was to find them the means of earning their own livelihood, pending their repatriation. To this end the High Commissioner, in conjunction with the International Labour Office, undertook a census by professions of the refugees, and also made enquiries as to those countries which were willing to receive them and give them work. Offices of the High Commissariat were established in most of the capitals of Central and Eastern Europe, and employment bureaux were opened in several of these towns.

The relief work increased when the situation of the refugees at Constantinople suddenly became worse owing to the withdrawal of the relief given up to that time by the French government and by the American Red Cross. Nearly 25,000 refugees were threatened with starvation. At the urgent request of the High Commissioner the French government consented to continue to support a part of the refugees.

The American Relief Administration offered to supply rations to the refugees for four months and to contribute 25,000 dollars towards their evacuation, to other countries, if the League of Nations could collect £30,000 to carry out this evacuation. Great Britain promised £10,000 on condition that other countries should find the remaining £20,000. The money was collected and a committee appointed to carry out the evacuation. 9,000 refugees were evacuated from Constantinople to Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Jugoslavia. Work was found locally for 1,000 others. The evacuation and placing of

the refugees were carried out with the close co-operation of the High Commissioner, the International Red Cross Committee, governments and voluntary organizations.

A very delicate point of law was raised by the evacuations that of the legal position of the refugees. It was settled by a conference of governmental representatives which met at Geneva in July, 1922, and drew up a simplified identity certificate. A certain number of governments agreed to adopt this certificate.

The High Commissariat is at present studying the advantages and disadvantages of returning the refugees to their homes. It is evident that no refugees could be repatriated against their will. Before sending them back to their own country, an agreement must be concluded guaranteeing them their personal safety.


The deportation of women and children, which has received the attention of the League since 1920, led it to consider means of solving the problems resulting from the Greco-Turkish war. It took steps to repatriate thousands of women and children who had been separated from their families by the advancing or retreating armies in Asia. Minor, and who had been detained in the households of their conquerors.

After having obtained the support of the allied police and other authorities, the commission of enquiry set up to examine the question founded a Home of Refuge where all nationalities are admitted. The religious authorities of the Greek, Armenian and Musselman communities were invited to contribute to and to give their advice in the administration of the Home. In the Request Form sent by the League to claim police assistance in tracing these women and children, no mention is made of religion or of race.

When the news of the fighting in Asia Minor and the consequent flight of tens of thousands of Armenian, Greek and Turkish refugees, reached the League of Nations, the Assembly, then in session, authorized Dr. Nansen to use the organization set up to deal with Russian refugees for

the relief of those in Asia Minor. The Council voted a credit of 100,000 gold francs to enable Dr. Nansen to take the first administrative steps, pending, the collection of the necessary funds. Before the close of the session New Zealand, Greece, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark and Brazil had contributed considerable sums of money, following the example of Great Britain, which alone promised £17,000.

An appeal was sent out by the Joint Committee of the International Red Cross and the League of Red Cross Societies. Delegates of the International Red Cross Committee immediately left for Constantinople to administer relief funds which the British Red Cross and the International Save the Children Union had put at their disposal. They were shortly followed by Dr. Nansen, who, after a rapid survey, realized that the situation. was even more serious than had been supposed. There were 750,000 refugees, of whom 80 per cent were women and children, most of them without clothing, shelter or food. The danger of epidemics was growing daily.

The High Commissioner immediately got into touch with governmental officials and with voluntary organizations. A general plan of co-operation was drawn up with the American Relief Administration, the American Red Cross, the Near East Relief and other associations. Arrangements were made for the rapid transport of flour from Egypt and Bulgaria. Two members of the Epidemic Commission of the League of Nations left for the Near East to superintend the sanitary organization of refugee camps. The Allied High Commissioners placed six British ships at Dr. Nansen's disposal, which have begun the evacuation of the

refugees. Thanks to close co-operation with the Greek High Commissioner and the Patriarchate, the League's High Commissioner was able to make proper arrangements for the allocation and reception of the refugees. Finally Dr. Nansen launched an appeal to governments and to the general public, asking for gifts in kind as well as money for the relief of the refugees. Belgium has sent the High Commissioner 2,000 tents, as well as clothing, and the Italian Red Cross has sent a 200-bedded hospital with the necessary personnel.

Such have been the social welfare activities of the League of Nations up to the present. It does not claim to have invented the international solution of social and humanitarian problems. Voluntary organizations and governments had already taken up the question of the suppression of the traffic in women and children, the campaign against the opium traffic, the repatriation of prisoners of war and the relief of refugees. Still less does it claim to substitute its services for governmental help or for the work of voluntary organizations. Without them it could have accomplished nothing. On the other hand, governments and voluntary organizations find their work supported by the authority and prestige which the League enjoys by virtue of the number of its members. Finally, it may be recalled that in no other branch of its activities is the League of Nations nearer universality than in the social welfare domain, in which countries like Germany and the United States, which are not yet members of the League, work in close co-operation with it.

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