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abortive, and though there may be a pretty uniform observation of the law, cases in which it is broken are numerous in some districts, amounting it is thought to general evasion."
One point was explained by several witnesses, that "great harm is done and suffering occasioned to the women by their remaining at work too long before confinement as well as by their returning too soon after it."
Miss Anderson the chief factory inspector notes "the general neglect of voluntary agencies for helping mothers before and after confinement, to take care of infant life, even where such agencies exist. In Lancashire, where, it is said, insurances of all kinds abound, no form of provident society exists to which women could contribute while still able to earn wages, nor has any attempt been made to organize a maternity fund, towards which both employer and employed might contribute. The existence of such a fund at Muelhausen is said to have resulted in the reduction of infant mortality by half. The Committee would strongly urge the adoption of such methods of voluntary assistance and think it not improbable that endowments may be found in many places which could be utilized as the nucleus for a considerable amount of charitable effort in this direction."
The Committee has gone at some length into the matter of infant dietary. "A decrease at the present time in breast feeding is generally admitted to be the case in all classes of society, at any rate in the urban districts. With the poor, it seems fair to say that their failure in this respect is due to inability rather than unwillingness, especially in view of the fact that as long as it can be properly continued breast feeding is much the most economical way of nourishing an infant. It is, however, no doubt, the case that women are often unwilling to nurse their own children because it interferes with their going to work."
In connection with the importance of being able to obtain a sufficient supply of good cow's milk "the Committee are confronted with a great deal of evidence to the effect that it is next to impossible to ensure such a supply, at any rate to the poorer classes. It is not a little curious that, while people in the rural districts have a growing difficulty in obtaining milk because it pays better to send it into the towns, the great mass of the dwellers in towns are in no better case than formerly. There is in fact a great lack of organization in the distribution of this prime necessity, a great want of knowledge as to its value and very inadequate means for its preservation from the most obvious sources of pollution."
The report also deals with parental ignorance and neglect and calls attention to the frequent cases of children being smothered by careless or drunken parents, by "overlaying," the cases generally occurring between Friday night and Monday morning.
Much evil arises from the chronic sleeplessness fostered by the conditions of life so largely prevalent. The lack of sleep from which town children suffer was mentioned by several witnesses as a cause of degeneration. Children in the slums are habitually up till late at night.
A large body of evidence was tendered as to the organization and operations of the Manchester and Salford Ladies' Public Health Society and the Committee had the advantage of examining on the subject Mrs. Worthington, one
of its principal members, and Mrs. Bostock, one of the Health Visitors it employs. "The society, which has been in existence for over twenty-five years, has for its object the discovery of all those conditions that are adverse to public health and especially the bringing within the knowledge of the mothers among the poor such information as will enable them to do their duty by their children. The poorer parts of both towns are divided into districts, each under the supervision of one or more of the ladies who constitute the Society, and, subject to their directions, a number of Health Visitors, who are in part paid by the corporation, undertake the duty of visiting every house in which the birth of a child is reported, with the object of educating mothers in the best methods of bringing up young children. By these means, Mrs. Worthington stated that a good deal of influence has been brought to bear upon them to adopt regular hours and not be quite so miscellaneous in their feeding operations, and it is said that they now have acquired some settled notion of what is the best type of food to give children. Incidentally and very largely the labors of the Health Visitors in this connection bring to their knowledge all sorts of insanitary conditions, arising from overcrowding, stopped drains and structural defects, which they proceed to report to the municipality on a form provided for the purpose. As the result, an inspector is at once sent and the evil is put right before very long. In a recent report of the Society's work, it is said that the Health Visitors have made 30,364 inspections of houses and have reported 1500 cases of insanitary conditions and the Medical Officer of Manchester testifies that the effect is marked in the poorer districts of the city and that "an improvement on former conditions can now be generally discovered." The report goes on to quote from one of the Superintendents that the poor "look upon the Health Visitor as their best friend and there are few homes where she is not made welcome." Apropos of the need of Medical Inspection of School Children the report
"In a country without compulsory military service the period of school life offers the State its only opportunity for taking stock of the physique of the whole population and securing to its profit the conditions most favorable to healthy development. While the schools on the whole seem to be in a good state, Mrs. Greenwood drew a sad picture of the dirt and darkness in some of of the Sheffield schools, and Dr. Kelly, Bishop of Ross, taxed the National Board with indifference to the warming of schools, from which children suffered acutely. It appears that whatever fuel is used in schools in Ireland has to be procured by voluntary contributions or brought there by the children themselves and it is not an uncommon thing for children to take a sod or two of turf to school on a winter's morning. Dr. Kelly goes on:
"I might set it down as one of the causes of the poor physical development in Ireland that the school children are unfairly, in fact I might say cruelly, treated in the schools themselves. I see how many of these little children go to school all the winter barefooted and in some instances they go to school where there is no fire. The country children have to travel a couple of miles to school; a great many of them have no cloak or shawl, or anything to cover them. Ireland is rather a rainy country and they go wet into the school and sit down there shivering all day."
The Committee think that a system under which the infliction of such suffering on poor children is possible requires amendment.
The importance of physical exercise and organized games is dwelt upon and Boston, U. S. A., was taken as an example of the best practice in this respect. The teaching of cooking and household management is also emphasized. It is evident from the statements and recommendations made by the Committee, that Great Britain is a generation behind the practice of the United States in this matter of special teaching for "retarded children,” and in provision of juvenile Courts and the Probation System.
One of the most interesting discussions which took place in the Committee was over proposals in regard to ensuring adequate nourishment of school children. As one witness said:
"We have got to the point where we must face the question whether the logical culmination of free education is not free meals in some form or other, it being cruelty to force a child to go to learn what it has not strength to learn." But he agreed that the parents should be made to pay if possible. "The opinion of Mr. S. C. Loch is worthy of consideration, as being presumably the official view of the Charity Organization Society. He found fault with the existing systems of voluntary feeding, as 'purely a movement against destitution without regard to education;' he stated his belief that no child should ever be fed without thorough investigation into the circumstances of its family, and no free meal given except in special cases and then only as secretly as possible; but he admitted the necessity in special cases. The feeding should not be at the school, though it does not appear from his evidence where it ought to be. He instanced the difficulty in former days, before the Free Education Act of 1891, of getting educational fees out of parents, and argued there would be similar difficulty in getting feeding fees. Both Mr. Loch and Mr. Shirley Murphy thought that in cases of real destitution the Poor Law Administration should always be brought into play and not kept out by any system of free feeding. The Committee speaks of the "somewhat dangerous doctrine that free meals are the necessary concomitant of free education. Education is a great social need, which individual citizens are, as a rule, not able to provide for their children on a sufficient scale, but food, like clothing and lodging, is a personal necessity, which in a well-ordered society it is not inherently impossible for parents to provide; and the effort to supplement their deficiencies and to correct the effects of their neglect, should aim, in the first instance, at the restoration of self-respect and the enforcement of parental duty."
The report also notices special subjects, which bear on the general purpose of this inquiry, such as syphilis, insanity, defective eyesight, deafness and dental deterioration.
In its elaborate and somewhat indefinite summary of recommendations, it is suggested that a permanent anthropometric survey should be organized; that a Register of Sickness-not confined to infectious diseases-should be established; that the time has come for dealing drastically with overcrowding; that the State should "take charge of the lives of those who are incapable of independent existence up to the standard of decency which it imposes;" that the medical inspection of factories and employees be extended; that the inspec
tion of workshops, as distinguished from factories, should be strengthened; that teachers should expatiate on the "moral wickedness of drinking” (sic); and that the sale of tobacco and cigarettes to children be prohibited. There are fifty-three specific recommendations in this report, of which many are thoroughly practical and nearly all are sensible; a few are, however, either chimerical or of doubtful value. The report is a volume of 137 pages of octavo and is amply furnished with statistical data. It is impossible to do more than suggest its importance in this necessarily brief summary. It can be purchased through any English bookseller for one shilling and two pence.
E. E. W.
The Committee on Lectures and Libraries of the Board of Education of the City of New York has recently published its report on the cost of free lectures to the people which were held during the winter of 1903-1904. Dr. Henry M. Leipziger, the Supervisor of Lectures, is full of splendid enthusiasm and has carried this important educational work forward with great executive ability and absolute sanity of judgment. The lecture courses are systematically organized with the definite purpose of stimulating study, co-operating with the public library and museum, encouraging discussion and bringing the best methods of the best teachers to bear upon the great problem of the diffusion of culture among all citizens. He reports that the success of the sixteenth season of public lectures has proven the value of this system of education for adults. The number of lecture centers was increased (from 128 in 1903) to 143. Four thousand six hundred and sixty-five lectures were given by four hundred and fifty-three lecturers and the total attendance as shown by the statistics in later pages of this report, reached one million one hundred and thirty-four thousand. The increase in the number of lecture centers was made in response to requests for their establishment and the attendance is gratifying when the unusual severity of the winter, the fact that the lectures closed earlier than usual, and that there were other drawbacks to the gathering of large assemblies, are considered.
Observations on Free Coffee and Sandwich Distribution in a New York Mission.1—“You might not believe it, my friend, but there are probably a thousand men on or near the Bowery tonight who haven't the price of a meal or a lodging. That's why we give out a thousand rolls and a thousand cups of coffee every morning at one o'clock from the first of January to the first of April. Drop in some night and I'll show you what the men are like and how it is done."
Being interested in verifying the truth of the introductory statement, I decided a few nights later to accept the invitation, but not exactly as given, as I have learned that there are far more interesting and far more instructive ways of "seeing what the men are like" than by just looking on.
We started out at about midnight, my chum and I, fellow-tramps for the time being, if such we might be called-our objective point, the Bowery Mission. I wore two pairs of summer trousers, a much bedraggled striped and torn jerseya relic of college days-an old coat and a discarded summer raincoat, slouch hat and dirty shoes. Ruffled hair, beard of two days' growth, face and hands smeared as much as the most fastidious loafer could wish for, together with the usual 1 Contributed by Frank Everett Wing.
complement of pipe and tobacco, added the finishing touches to my disguise. It was one of the coldest of winter nights. We were obliged to walk at a rapid pace in order to keep warm, and as we turned the corner of Fourth Street on to the Bowery, an unusually cold blast of wind warned us that the worst was yet to come. It required but a few minutes of this to cause us to realize, partially at least, the terrors cold winter has for the great army of the poorly clad that nightly walks our city streets. Now and then a belated pedestrian squinted out at us from the recesses of his upturned coat collar. More often we were not permitted so much as a glance as we half loitered on our way. It being too cold for pleasure seekers and roisterers, few people were to be seen, save now and then a lone crusader, who showed by his appearance and the direction in which he was going that his mecca was the same as ours.
Soon we were near enough to see the long dark line of bent-over shivering forms, already there ahead of us, waiting for the doors to open and the feeding to begin. On warmer nights I have seen by actual count fully eight hundred men in line. In the middle of this windy winter's night, with hands in their pockets, dancing from one foot to another to keep warm, with a song or a joke here, with a remark about the cold there, with impatience exhibited everywhere, this long line of humanity was waiting for what? A cup of hot coffee and a dry, unbuttered roll. This was the crowd we were about to join.
Many times, when looking at such a sight as this, I have thought how great must be the need to induce a man to belittle himself so much as to be willing to fall into a beggar's line for a loaf of bread. It has seemed that it would be extremely hard for a man to do this, even as an experiment, without the incentive of hunger to make it easier. I will confess that there was some such feeling in my mind then as I approached. Strange to say, however, when once a part of it, there was not the least touch of shame at being there. This shows how easy it is to get in line and to go with the crowd.
Soon a movement in front told that the game was on. Following the crowd we groped our way, or rather, were jostled by those behind, down the stairs into
From the attendants at the door each received a large roll and a cup of coffee as he passed by and was then directed further on toward the rear of the room. After the manner of most of those about me, I hastened to wash down my first roll in silence in order to take my place at the end of the line outside so as not to miss a second ration. This was easily managed; for, while the crowd was large, there was provision for more than twice as many.
With my second supply on hand, I had an opportunity to test the completeness of my disguise. Partly with the idea of getting into a place where I could eat quietly by myself, and partly to be able to study the rest at a distance, I stepped half thoughtlessly into an empty corner. I was not permitted to enjoy this privilege long, however, for a gruff voice sang out, "Come there, you! Get out of that corner. That ain't no loafing place for such as you."
Looking up, I saw it was my friend of a few nights before, the doorkeeper, addressing me. He did not recognize me in my new role and I did not take the trouble to enlighten him, but made haste to obey the by no means uncertain command.